Microgrids, also referred to as minigrids, off-grids and remote electrification grids are a smaller version of the traditional electrical grid or the newer digitized smart grid. A large variety of microgrid types exist: smart microgrids, islanded or decentralized microgrids, hybrid microgrids and rudimentary microgrids, to name a few. Microgrid installations around the world include everything from diesel generator-based rural electrification projects supplying electricity to small remote villages to large, futuristic cities and theme parks powered by multiple forms of renewable energy and using the newest microgrid technologies.
In 2010 the world market for microgrids reached $4.14 billion, up significantly from 2009. This exciting growth is expected to continue at least through the year 2020. The market segment for institutional and campus microgrids, claiming nearly 45% of total market share in 2010, is expected to cede some of its ownership by 2020 to the commercial and industry microgrid sector, as well as to military and off-grid microgrid types. In 2010, North America staked a near 74% of total microgrid market share; by 2020 it is expected the microgrid pie will be slightly more evenly distributed among the regions of the world.
The emerging microgrid market is in an advantageous position, being cradled by other growing, and some flourishing, industries. Microgrids are riding the waves of the expanding solar power industry, smart grid market and the multifaceted renewable energy market. Simultaneously, microgrids are inspiring growth in related energy markets such as energy storage and inverter technology. Positioned amid such bustling markets benefits the microgrid market with increased security, research support and interest from a large number of invested individuals across many occupations.
Government interest in microgrids is increasing, especially in the United States, as energy security becomes high priority. Microgrids are ideal for military bases, where soldier safety is often compromised by power outages and fuel delivery—both problems easily diminished with the use of microgrids.
Over the past decade, significant obstacles have stood in the way of microgrid growth. As with many emerging industries, especially those that are energy-related, having established policies and a solid regulatory base in place are necessary for market growth to reach its potential. Although slow to be implemented, microgrid guidelines are being established by government bodies and other organizations with investments in microgrid technologies. Success in the microgrid industry has also been contingent on some less than perfect technologies. These technological setbacks to market growth are quickly showing signs of dissipating, however, as universities and other research centers around the world develop methods and technologies to improve microgrid schemes.
The World Market for Microgrids contains comprehensive historical data (2006-2010) and forecast data (2011-2020). This report identifies key trends, regulations, politics, new technologies, jobs and economic and geographic factors affecting the size and direction of microgrid market growth around the world. Profiles of more than 15 major, or simply interesting, companies involved in the microgrid market are also included.
The information contained in The World Market for Microgrids has been gathered from trade associations; business, science and law journals; company literature and websites; primary research interviews with more than ten key individuals, research services and institutes around the world; and is based on data from government agencies, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Energy and the Central Intelligence Agency.
How You Will Benefit From This Report
The World Market for Microgrids details significant trends, technologies and market numbers for a clear overview of the complex microgrid market.
This report will help:
Managers identify market opportunities and develop solid implementation plans for microgrid activities.
Research and development professionals stay on top of competitor initiatives, and understand the developments and obstacles associated with the microgrid market.
Business development executives work within the dynamics of the market and identify possible partnerships.
Information and research center librarians access vital information.
Policy makers and government officials understand the dynamics and scope of the market they are working to affect.
Advertising agencies working with clients involved in the microgrid industry to help design appropriate messages and images.
Investors and stakeholders gain a well-rounded view of the microgrid market, including its strengths, weaknesses and likely future direction.
In the News
Expanding Military Interest in Microgrid Technology Fuels $4 Billion Industry
New York, January 26, 2011 —The world microgrid market reached $4 billion last year with North America claiming 74% of 2010’s total industry share, finds market research publisher SBI Energy. Fueled by rapidly growing solar, renewable energy and smart grid markets, the microgrid has become a viable solution to supply energy to local communities. Microgrid installations around the world include everything from diesel generator-based rural electrification projects that supply electricity to small rural communities to large, futuristic cities and theme parks using the newest microgrid technologies.
SBI Energy’s latest market study, The World Market for Microgrids, has identified a unique opportunity for marketers at U.S. military bases seeking reliable and secure energy. The majority of U.S. military bases are powered by public electrical grids, which in some instances lead to as many as 300 power outages per year. These interruptions weaken military readiness and security. In the face of a terrorist attack or natural disaster, reliance on conventional energy supplies may be inefficient and may even be detrimental to military functions. Microgrid advantages in this case are clear: in the face of a massive power outage, the microgrid is able to separate from the main utility grid—if it is not already islanded —and keep vital facilities and operations powered.
As U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich of the 1st Congressional District of Mexico says, "Microgrids provide a more secure infrastructure for our military-both here and abroad. Growth in the military microgrid segment will rise by 375% from 2010 to 2020. Total market value in this segment is projected at $1.6 billion in 2020, up from $.33 billion in 2010 and electrical output will increase from .13 GW in 2010 to .60 GW in 2020.
As the microgrid expands its realm of operations in commercial, military and industrial segments, the costs associated with implementation are decreasing. Installation price can vary wildly depending on a number of factors-including the size, scope and technological advancement of a specific project. From solar-hybrid implementations in small remote villages to giant undertakings such as the $4 billion Crystal Island project, the future will become less individualized and more mass, factory built-greatly reducing costs associated with implementing a microgrid.
The World Market for Microgrids provides an in-depth analysis of the economic drivers and challenges and key social and political factors facing the microgrid industry. The market study also reports historical market and growth in dollars (2006 - 2010), broken down into five market segments, as well as future forecast data through 2020. Furthermore, a new chapter segment featured in all 2011 reports examines the current and upcoming employment opportunities that will be created as microgrid manufacturing and installations ramp up. Microgrid activity around the world, including information on the overall electricity situation and specific microgrid projects, is examined, as are the company strategies of 15 leading industry manufactures and new technologies.
While increasing population, rural development and overall increasing energy consumption is good news for utility companies, there is one technological movement underway that will hurt their revenue steam in the future. And that is the microgrid's potential to sell electricity back to ‘macrogrid'.