The aging and increasingly obsolete electrical grid infrastructure in many countries is attracting an expanding degree of focus from technology companies, utilities, and policy makers looking to spur investment in Smart Grid enhancements. According to a new report from Pike Research, one key manifestation of that trend in the coming years will be the accelerated deployment of Microgrids, which are “islanded” power generation and distribution areas that can operate autonomously from the larger grid infrastructure. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that over 3 GW of new Microgrid capacity will come on line globally by 2015, representing a cumulative investment of $7.8 billion by that time and an annual market for Microgrid systems of $2.1 billion.
"Many electric utilities have traditionally been opposed to Microgrids, seeing them as an existential threat to their business models,” said managing director Clint Wheelock. “However, some key utilities are beginning to warm to the idea, and they are increasingly looking to work with communities, corporations, and institutions that are interested in developing Microgrid projects.”
Pike Research expects that North America will be the largest market for Microgrids over the next several years, representing 74% of total worldwide capacity by 2015. In North America, the largest segment will be institutional microgrids, followed by commercial/industrial and community grids. In other regions, however, the story is different and community microgrids are expected to be the largest category in Europe and Asia.
Pike Research’s report, Microgrids, analyzes and forecasts five major segments of the emerging microgrid market. It also examines key technologies that are integral to microgrid deployments and assesses key players in the nascent industry ecosystem. Five-year forecasts provide quantification of the microgrid market opportunity in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.