Nanogrids are sneaking up fast. Has your utility figured out its strategy?
Quick Take: Back in February, I warned you about two "nano" technologies poised to disrupt the electric power industry. Now comes a report from Navigant that says one of those two â€“ nanogrids â€“ is about to enter a phase of rapid growth.
As defined by Navigant, nanogrids have much in common with smart buildings. I recently explained why utilities should care about the coming boom in smart buildings and many of the reasons apply equally to nanogrids. In some ways, you can think of a nanogrid as a smart building with a source of generation. In many ways, nanogrids combine the challenges posed by smart buildings, by distributed generation and by microgrids. â€“ Jesse Berst
Nanogrid Market to Reach Nearly $60 Billion in Annual Vendor Revenue by 2023, Forecasts Navigant Research
Developing countries represent the largest and fastest growing nanogrid markets, report concludes
March 24, 2014 â€“ Boulder, CO â€“ At its essence, a nanogrid is simply a small microgrid, typically serving a single building or a single load. Nanogrids, however, have the ability to fill increasingly important niches within the larger power sector, serving as modular building blocks for energy services that support applications ranging from emergency power for commercial buildings to the provision of basic electricity services for people living in extreme poverty. According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide vendor revenue from nanogrids will grow from $37.8 billion annually in 2014 to $59.5 billion in 2023.
â€œThough smaller in size than microgrids, nanogrids represent a larger market opportunity because they are, generally speaking, less challenging to the status quo and less subject to the technological challenges facing larger distribution networks that assimilate diverse distributed energy resources,â€ says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. â€œWhile North America is the leading region for microgrids, the largest and fastest growing nanogrid markets today are remote systems operating in the developing countries of Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.â€
Perhaps the most innovative and radical interpretation of nanogrids, according to the report, are grid-tied systems that incorporate electric vehicles (EVs), in order to provide emergency energy services directly to buildings or to allow building owners to reduce utility peak demand charges. Just as EVs can provide ancillary services to both the larger utility grid and microgrids, they have perhaps an even greater potential to serve as storage or electrical supply to individual buildings.