Microgrid market to grow $2.1bn by 2025
A report from Global Industry Analytics projects that the global microgrid market will grow US$2.1bn by 2025 - a 16.2% increase.
The US is expected to maintain the highest sectoral growth in the world (17.4%), with some other sources predicting that, by 2040, clean-energy microgrids could be worth a staggering $350bn.
Microgrids are an interconnected series of local electricity sources which can supplement or be independent of traditional electrical grids. The advantages to consumers are increased energy efficiency, lower energy costs, better electrical stability and eco-friendly benefits.
The latter results from the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, which produce power that can either be stored for later use or used as a primary energy supply.
Solving energy supply issues
In an innovation report by Hitachi America, Alireza Aram, Snr VP and GM, stated his belief that microgrids held the key meeting the modern era’s demand for reliable sources of electricity.
“Against a background of successive natural disasters and terror threats around the world, a steady supply of electricity including measures against power outages is a common social issue for all countries, from the viewpoint of the safety and security of their residents.
“As the introduction of renewable energy proceeds as a measure against global warming, microgrids are looked to as a promising solution to various issues,” he said. However, Aram emphasised that the responsibility to develop this potential lies with companies like Hitachi.
Innovating in the US energy sector
Siemens has been devoting resources to the development of microgrids across the US. The company is currently providing innovative microgrid services to the AURORA Project in California, with Xcel Energy in Denver and with LO3 Energy in New York, as well as others.
Supplying a four-stage circular microgrid offering - simulation, implementing control, monitoring and benchmarking, and continuous optimisation - Siemens states on its website that the reason for its commitment to the technology is its far-reaching applicability:
“Microgrids use a variety of energy sources, including photovoltaic and wind-power plants as well as small hydro-power and biomass-power plants. Biodiesel generators and emergency power units, storage modules, and intelligent control systems ensure the security of supply.
“Siemens provides a comprehensive portfolio of products, solutions, and services to help build and operate microgrids of any size. They provide generation and distribution of electrical energy as well as monitoring and controlling of microgrids.”
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Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.