According to a new report from Navigant Research, the total worldwide capacity of remote microgrids will grow from 286 MW in 2013 to nearly 980 MW in 2020. Under a more aggressive scenario, Navigant says total capacity could reach 1,071 MW in 2020.
Remote microgrids target niche markets, such as physical islands, rural villages in the developing world, military mobile and tactical applications, and mines and other commodity extraction facilities not connected to an existing grid. While these remote power systems number in the thousands, many are still powered by diesel generation, Navigant notes.
‘Operating in isolation from the wider power grid, remote microgrids are multiplying, thanks to a combination of factors, including high costs for existing energy services in many parts of the world and declining costs for solar photovoltaics and other renewable distributed energy generation technologies,’ says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. ‘These systems tend to be the most lucrative of current microgrid opportunities, in terms of per-megawatt vendor revenues, and while the majority of remote microgrids are being deployed in the developing world, activity is also increasing in Europe and North America.’
An executive summary of the report is available here.