The old definition of a microgrid was usually an electricity source, often a combined heat and power natural gas plant or a reciprocating engine generator, that provided fulltime or backup power for an industrial site, military installation, university, or remote location.
Today’s definition is much broader, incorporating cleaner technologies and more diverse customers, establishing microgrids as a key component of tomorrow’s more resilient, efficient and low-emissions electricity system.
Market Research Hub (MRH) has recently announced the inclusion of a new study to its massive archive of research reports, titled as “Global Microgrid as a Service (MaaS) Market Status, Size and Forecast 2012-2022.” This report provides an in-depth evaluation on the market for Microgrid as a Service (MaaS), elaborating on the prime dynamics influencing the development of this market. These dynamics include the major drivers, opportunities, restraints etc. Geographically, the global market is categorized into EU, United States, China, India, Japan and Southeast Asia.
With an extensive forecast period of 2016 to 2021, the analysts have studied major dynamics for the market, which can be helpful for the established players as well as new entrants in this market. In terms of geography, with constant rising industrial sector, countries such as China, India, Japan and South Korea are gaining extensive market share of the MaaS market.
A grid-connected microgrid can be defined as, a set of distributed energy resources and interconnected loads mainly use to supply power to the main grid or utility grid. Microgrids can operate as stand-alone 'islands' and are able to provide reliable electricity even during bad weather. According to the key findings, from several years, the escalating demand for power, along with an increased need for secure, reliable and emission-free power propels the demand for microgrids. Also, it is projected that the microgrids as a service market are recording healthy growth due to various benefits offered by Microgrids, such as highly reliability, economical & effectual energy power, improvement of renewable energy sources and smart grid integration etc.
These microgrids can be divided into Grid type and Service type.
On the basis of grid type, it covers:
By service type, it includes:
Monitoring & Control Service
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Engineering & Design Service
Operation & Maintenance Service
On the other hand by applications, the report has segmented the market into Military, Industrial, Government & Education, Utility, Residential & Commercial. The Microgrid as a Service Market is having significant growth in many areas where continuous power is must such as industries, Residential & Commercial, hospitals and universities among others.
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) said last week that global annual revenue from microgrids rose 29 percent between 2015 and last year, according to Microgrid Knowledge. The revenues totaled $6.8 million at the beginning of 2017. The report, which was prepared by Navigant Research, said that the market in the United States has more than doubled since 2011. The sector reached $2.2 billion last year after enjoying a 16 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), between 2015 and 2016.
Today, the microgrid technology only produces 0.2 percent of U.S. electricity (about 1.6 GW). That capacity is expected to double in the next three years, however.
Microgrids not only improve reliability and resilience – keeping the lights on during a widespread disaster that affects the main grid -- but also increase efficiency, better manage electricity supply and demand, and help integrate renewables, creating opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy.
But financial and legal hurdles stand in the way of accelerating their deployment.
Each microgrid’s unique combination of power source, customer, geography, and market can be confusing for investors. Microgrids can run on renewables, natural gas-fueled turbines, or emerging sources such as fuel cells or even small modular nuclear reactors. They can power city facilities, city neighborhoods, or communities in remote areas. As we heard during our research, “If you’ve seen one microgrid, you’ve seen one microgrid.”
The legal framework can be confusing, too. Most states lack even a legal definition of a microgrid, and regulatory and legal challenges can differ between and within states. Issues include microgrid developers’ access to reasonably priced backup power and to wholesale power markets to sell excess electricity or other services. Also, franchise rights granted to utilities may limit microgrid developers’ access to customers.