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 - including investor-owned utility, public power grid-tied, and remote microgrids - will reach nearly $1.4 billion in 2012 and will grow to just under $3.3 billion in 2018. "Decades of utility resistance to the entire concept of a microgrid are starting to evaporate, and confidence in the microgrid model’s unique advantages is starting to bloom in some unlikely corners of the industry," says Pike senior research analyst Peter Asmus. Read more >>


Energy storage

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 >>