Recent widespread power outages from severe weather events and other causes have increased the appeal of microgrids, which can operate in isolation from the wider power grid.
According to a recent tracker report from Navigant Research, the number of active microgrid projects around the world continues to increase rapidly. The report, the fourth edition of Navigant Research's Microgrid Deployment Tracker, identifies at least 405 microgrid projects that are currently planned, proposed, under development or fully operating.
"The microgrid market is highly dynamic, and many projects remain under the radar," says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. "However, the microgrid platform is moving increasingly into the mainstream, and new projects will feature substantial investments in hardware and software, and therefore represent more lucrative business opportunities than previously recognized."
North America remains the world's most fertile environment for microgrids, according to the report. Connecticut, which has suffered massive power outages several times in recent years, is the first state in the U.S. to move forward with a policy program to promote microgrids. The report identifies 219 microgrid projects in North America, more than half of the world total.
The report, "Microgrid Deployment Tracker 4Q12", covers five microgrid market application segments and four principal geographies. The tracker lists proposed, planned, under development and operating microgrids — as well as selected projects that lay the foundation for viable microgrids over the next six years. The goal of this database is to provide the most up-to-date summary of microgrid projects available globally.