|By Business Wire||
|October 22, 2012 05:00 AM EDT||
Like today’s power grid, microgrids include generation facilities, distribution lines, and voltage regulators. However, microgrids offer some unique advantages: their smaller scale translates into fewer line losses, since electricity is generated closer to utility loads, and they lessen demand on the utility transmission infrastructure. Perhaps most importantly, microgrids are an important accelerator for various kinds of distributed power generation, particularly from renewable sources. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the total worldwide capacity of distributed generation (DG) contained in microgrids will more than quintuple over the next six years, growing from 764 megawatts (MW) in 2012 to nearly 4,000 MW in 2018.
“Distributed generation assets are the foundation of any microgrid,” says senior research analyst Peter Asmus. “Although the majority of DG today is in the form of fossil fuel-based systems, primarily diesel generators, recent growth rates confirm that the fastest-growing distributed power generation technologies are combined heat and power and solar photovoltaic systems, thanks to steep drops in prices for natural gas and solar PV panels.”
Smart, bi-directional islanding inverters are also an extremely important technology to enable DG in microgrids. Without critical advances in this technology, the microgrid market would not be viable. Over the course of the next six years, according to the report, the islanding function of inverters for renewable distributed energy generation, combined heat and power, fuel cells, and energy storage will become much more prevalent. While representing less than five percent of the total inverter market today, an islanding function could conceivably become a standard feature option for inverters over the next decade or so.
The report, “Microgrid Enabling Technologies”, provides a detailed analysis of the technologies necessary to create a microgrid. It also quantifies sales of the most vital technologies that will enable the microgrid market to grow, whether those systems are grid-tied or remote, and whether they utilize alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). The report also includes SWOT analyses of the major enabling technologies for microgrids, along with profiles of the key players in the emerging microgrid sector. Market forecasts for the major enabling technologies, segmented by world region, are provided through 2018. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.
About Pike Research
Pike Research, which joined Navigant’s global Energy Practice on July 1, 2012, provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Pike Research can be found at www.navigant.com/pikeresearch.
Navigant (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at www.navigant.com.
* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Microgrid Enabling Technologies,” is a summary and reflects Pike Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Pike Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.