North America leads the market for microgrids, says Navigant Research

Greentech Lead America: More than 480 microgrid projects are proposed, planned, under construction, or operating worldwide, representing nearly 3,800 megawatts (MW) of capacity, says Navigant Research.

North America remains the world’s leading market for microgrids, with a planned, proposed, and deployed capacity of 2,505 MW, representing an additional 417 MW since the fourth quarter 2012 version of the report—indicating an additional 55 projects.

Of the total North American microgrid capacity, 1,459 MW is currently online and more than 1,122 MW is planned, under development, or proposed.

Many new microgrid projects are still under the radar, and many local projects originate organically, without official designations or titles, making them very hard to track, the research finds.

However microgrids as a sector are beginning to move into the mainstream, with a greater focus being placed on viable business models. The result is a much more robust microgrid market than just a few years ago.  .

New vendors are continually entering the market and previously undiscovered projects are coming to the forefront. The findings of the report reaffirm some of the market optimism surrounding microgrids, clearly demonstrating the rapid growth in the sector, researchers said.

Navigant Research earlier predicted that revenue from deployments of microgrids will rise to more than $40 billion annually by 2020. Currently it is under $10 billion.

Driven by falling costs for solar photovoltaic systems and the easing of prohibitions against the operation of distributed generation assets during times of grid stress, the adoption of microgrids will accelerate as awareness of – and confidence in – the platform’s capabilities grows, the research agency said.

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