Tracking Microgrids and the Challenges Along the Way

Navigant Research looks at the evolution of the microgrid market in the July edition of the Clean Energy Mini-grids Newsletter

Microgrids are one of the biggest disruptions to the traditional electrical grid, and they’re growing in popularity. In fact, in a recent report, Navigant Research noted that there are now more than 1,840 known projects across 135 countries — and potentially many more.

While Navigant Research has been tracking the global microgrid market since 2009, issues with terminology and data collection have made it difficult to assess the true size of the microgrid’s reach. In the July edition of the Sustainable Energy For All’s Clean Energy Mini-grids Newsletter, Navigant Research’s Peter Asmus and Adam Wilson explained the challenges of these efforts and flesh out the data they’ve collected so far.

“While a dynamic process — due to the lack of reporting requirements for microgrids of any kind and the lingering ambiguity of what is and is not a microgrid — this is the only tally of global deployments microgrids published by any research or government organization,” Asmus and Wilson wrote. “The data collected during this process provides insights into the most common application segments, regional differences, preferred resource mixes, and emerging company partnerships.

Highlights from the pair's most recent findings include:

  • Nearly 20 GW of capacity has been tracked
  • The fastest-growing microgrid segment is the commercial and industrial
  • The remote microgrid segment holds the largest market share
  • Regionally, Asia Pacific has taken the lead from North America
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