In depth: The evolution of the microgrid


Industry projections suggest that microgrids are set for exceptional growth in the coming years. Analysts at RnR Market Research forecast the global microgrid market will grow at a CAGR of 18.72% in terms of revenue and 17.29% in terms of microgrid installed capacity over the period 2014-2019.

While North America remains the lead adopter of microgrid technology, Navigant Research studies show that deployment in the Asia Pacific region is on the ‘threshold of exponential growth’ having generated US$84.2 million in microgrid revenue in 2013, with this number to increase to US$814.3 million by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 38.3% annually.

It must be noted that while the US and the Asia Pacific region are close competitors in obtaining market share for microgrids, their applications vary to some degree.

Hurricane Sandy in the US (2012) and the Fukushima earthquake in Japan (2011) marked pivotal events that popularised the microgrid, with resiliency as the technology’s key selling point. Whist industry and government still value grid resiliency, renewable energy and energy storage are becoming essential components of microgrids today.

One example of this is demonstrated in a partnership between Oncor, Texas’s largest regulated electric delivery business, S&C and Schneider Electric in a “proof of concept” version of what they contend is “one of the most advanced microgrids in North America”.

The smart microgrid, now up and running at Oncor’s System Operating Services Facility (SOSF), has been “engineered to maximize newly installed energy storage, renewable generation and improve…..


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