Microgrid technology holds significant potential to provide stable and reliable energy to the power industry and can create more flexibility to optimize power sources and energy uses, which is driving growth in the market, according to a report from Research and Markets.
The global microgrid market is expected to grow at more than 16% through 2026 and be valued at $40.3 billion, up from $19 billion in 2021. That growth is attributed to a growing demand for reliable electricity, declining prices for microgrid technology, grids that are becoming unstable, and a lack of grid connectivity in many developing countries, according to the report.
As prices fall and cleaner energy such as wind and solar power are integrated, microgrids are no longer niche applications used for localized needs, Research and Markets says. They can be used for national grid extenders, according to the report, and as a grid modernization tool for businesses, utilities, cities and more.
The Office of Electricity says microgrids support a flexible energy distribution system and using them for local sources of energy can reduce energy losses and increase the reliability of the electric system. They can be a key piece of energy generation for larger commercial buildings and campuses as well as provide important power back-up, which can be key during natural events or other potential outages.
Microgrids have also been used to help with resiliency for critical industries, such as a program through Enchanted Rock, and individual businesses are improving energy efficiency and sustainability, with companies like Bimbo Bakeries adding them to six locations in California.
With solar prices also falling, the report says distributed solar can also be cheaper than running diesel generators by themselves for backup power.
Research and Markets finds that microgrids are good tools to help unstable grids, especially in more developed countries, but that emerging markets with a lack of infrastructure can be ideal for microgrid systems. That’s because they avoid the need for expensive and inefficient distribution systems.
Microgrids also allow developers to put generation closer to the load, so there are fewer losses with less of a need to build the larger, more traditional distribution networks.
According to the report, some of the top players in the microgrid market include General Electric, Schneider Electric, Siemens and Honeywell International.