Smart grid by the numbers - microgrids, storage and cybersecurity worries
Three new reports do the math on growth in distribution microgrids and energy storage and quantify utility plans for beefing up cybersecurity in 2013.
Suggesting that a handful of innovative utilities are moving forward with microgrid projects despite significant institutional bias and regulatory obstacles, Pike Research believes such early initiatives herald a future in which microgrids will become a more prevalent part of the distribution utility landscape. The research firm predicts annual vendor revenues from utility microgrids â€“ including investor-owned utility, public power grid-tied, and remote microgrids â€“ will reach nearly $1.4 billion in 2012 and will grow to just under $3.3 billion in 2018. â€œDecades of utility resistance to the entire concept of a microgrid are starting to evaporate, and confidence in the microgrid modelâ€™s unique advantages is starting to bloom in some unlikely corners of the industry," says Pike senior research analyst Peter Asmus. Read more >>
A new report from the analyst firm NanoMarkets claims the grid-storage market will reach $6.1 billion by 2018, making energy storage one of the fastest-growing opportunities in the smart grid industry. Batteries and Supercapacitors for the Smart Grid-2013 notes that the default option for grid batteries today is lead-acid, accounting for more than 55% of revenues from grid batteries currently. By 2018, the NanoMarkets report indicates that share will decline to around 30% as new grid battery technologies become commercialized. The report contends sodium-sulfur and Zebra batteries will prove a better deal for power companies and large end users than lithium-ion. Read more >>