The Global Microgrids (MGs) and Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) Market
The short term for microgrid (MG) market development will be impacted by technical immaturity, utility unwillingness, and high set-up costs. However, the future for advanced MGs is promising especially with smart grids gaining momentum.
Smart MGs minimize operating costs through a combination of technology and customer participation. They include distributed energy resource (DER) integration, smart technologies, and demand response (DR). Moreover, they change the dynamics of supply and demand.
Several MG projects are being piloted, and power equipment companies are investing because they foresee higher market opportunities with increasing MG demand and with first-mover advantages to capture market leadership.
MGs are all about enhancing efficiency at the local level, while VPPs are about innovation at the distribution edge with embedded intelligence. The ongoing trend is for the large technology companies to provide cloud-based Web service solutions and for energy providers to manage VPPs from the cloud.
About this report
An MG is an energy system consisting of a group of interconnected loads, distributed energy resources, consumers, and optional storage that acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid. A VPP is a virtual network that is dependent on software systems to connect remotely and automate dispatch of power generation. The fine line that differentiates MGs and VPPs is discussed in this deliverable, with a detailed analysis from a utility standpoint. Also discussed are the opportunities, threats, value chain analysis, hot geographic regions, and the network of market participants.
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