Breakthrough to Unlock Microgrids

Renewables-based microgrids have long been seen as key to increasing energy security and resilience, especially among the world’s most vulnerable communities. Yet, microgrids are still out of reach for many who need them most, highlighting cost and specialized workforce issues. What breakthrough can unlock the access to microgrids that can provide an affordable, reliable, continuous supply of clean energy?

Hi @b0bbybaldi and @gyyang - What breakthrough solutions can unlock the access to microgrids that can provide an affordable, reliable, continuous supply of clean energy?

Hi, @shashi microgrids promise great potential if adequate storage, monitoring, and remote responsive technology is aggregate so that they interact in real-time with their surroundings with viable and sustainable processes.

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Hi @kpalanisamy79 and @zhangx,

Given your vast knowledge and experience in smart grids, would like to know your thoughts on what breakthrough solutions can unlock the access to microgrids that can provide an affordable, reliable, continuous supply of clean energy?

Hi @Brad and @ejnovek - What emerging breakthrough solutions in the next two decades according to you could unlock the access to microgrids that can provide an affordable, reliable, continuous supply of clean energy?

Hi @carlbozzuto, @KeithDPatch and @Magneto - In your opinion, what breakthrough can unlock the access to microgrids and help provide an affordable, reliable, continuous supply of clean energy?

Hi @Poshgero,
Give your vast knowledge and experience in this area, you might have some inputs to share on breakthroughs that we could see in the next two decades that would unlock the access to microgrids and provide an affordable, reliable, continuous supply of clean energy.

Shashi, In my opinion, access is not the problem. Cost is the problem. Microgrids are typically small in size. As a result, the installed cost will be relatively higher than large size equipment. A Hospital may be able to justify the additional cost on the basis of reliability and resiliency. Other facilities will find the cost too high and not choose such an installation. Let’s take the houses on my street. The street runs north/south, so the houses face east/west, which is not ideal for solar. The lots are not that big and typically have trees. That makes wind problematic. The area does not have access to natural gas. We could get 6 houses together and share the cost of a propane generator, but one of the houses would have to agree to “house” the generator and propane tanks and then connect to the other houses. We would still need controls, grid connection and interface, and some smart sensors to assure that we are supplying power the the houses appropriately and not creating feedback problems on the grid. Even so, propane is still a fossil fuel. It is a little better than fuel oil, but not as “clean” as solar and wind. The result is that each house will buy a propane generator for back up power, if that is a concern for the homeowner, and it will only run during a power outage.

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Thanks @carlbozzuto for sharing this input. I agree clean power which is competitive against fossil fuel is the most immediate need of the hour.