Quick Take: Don't be fooled by the breathless reports of "staggering growth" at the bottom of this market research press release. Yes, the microgrid sector is finally taking off. But it is starting from a very small base. What's more, the 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is good, but nothing like the 25%+ we saw in smart meters for a few years.
And what's more, this firm seems to be using linear extrapolations, assuming today's conditions will continue on indefinitely. In reality, microgrids will hit some growing pains, especially as they expand from today's specialty markets towards the mainstream. That's when we'll need new regulatory models to pay for the costs of interconnecting and managing myriad microgrids into a coherent system. And regulatory changes never go smoothly.
For a further discussion of the business model issue, jump to the discussion of whether microgrids will destroy traditional utilities, an excellent article from experts at the Rocky Mountain Institute that outlines the potential and the pitfalls. - By Jesse Berst
Microgrid market forecast
To provide tailored, efficient, and reliable energy services to the end users, microgrid employs and integrates a wide range of distributed energy technologies such as generation, storage and advanced controls, metering and communications into a controlled system that manages energy generation, transmission, distribution, and usage on a small scale as compared to the conventional macrogrid.
The report analyzes the global microgrid market and presents detailed insights of the market by technology, by characteristics, by application, and by geography. Besides, detailed discussion on the drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the market is also presented.
Market by Technology - The market by technology is further segmented under the following headings: by components and technological trends. Market by components presents the market analysis for key components such as batteries and storage system, power inverter, Smart meter and switch gear. The section also discusses the market for CHP technologies-microturbine and reciprocating engine. Microturbine is currently the largest CHP market by technology while Reciprocating engines are expected to grow at a higher rate during the forecast period.
Market by Characteristics: The market by characteristics is segmented by types and by consumption pattern. Microgrid by types discusses the three types of microgrid namely grid connected, off-grid and hybrid. Market by consumption pattern discusses the following three facets of microgrid market- Urban, Semi-urban and rural/island.
Market by Application- The application market has been covered under four broad segments- campus/institutional, Defense and Military base, Commercial and others.
Market by geography- The report discusses the global market under four geographical heads; namely North America, Europe, APAC, and ROW. North America is the largest market by geography while the major growth in the market is expected from countries such as India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa etc.
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Furthermore, the industry analysis section covers the overall generation and storage of microgrid and also presents key value chain analysis for the microgrid and other allied industries.
The report also gives detailed profiles of various companies currently active or just venturing into the microgrid market. All the other details of the key players in the entire value chain such as key product launches, technologies, industry partners, financials, and growth strategies are discussed in the extensive company profiles section. In addition to the company profiles, a competitive landscape of the current market is analyzed.
Global installed capacity of microgrid has seen a staggering growth since 2011 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of over 17% from 2012- 2022 to attain a total installed capacity of over 15GW by 2022.
In terms of market value for the vendors the market presents a potential of over $5billion and is likely to reach up-to $27 billion by 2022 growing at a CAGR of over 17% from 2012-2022.
Campus/Institutional microgrid is the largest microgrid by application and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 18.83% from 2012-2022.
Military and defense based microgrid and commercial microgrid is forecast to have almost same installed capacity by 2022.
Off-grid microgrid continues growing at the highest CAGR for next 5-6 years, while hybrid microgrid market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during 2012-2022.
This shift in growth is expected to happen once utility begin ramping up their microgrid facilities. Handfuls of utilities have already begun pilot projects including American Electric Power (AEP), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), BC Hydro, and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).
RoI on microgrid varies across geographies and also depends on power generation sources.
A fully developed microgrid with demand response management, on-site generation and storage, advanced controls and grid independence capabilities requires a longer payback period.
Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.
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