Industry News

Move to Distributed, Renewable Power Inevitable, Even in Areas Served by Utilities

grid defection

New distributed energy technologies and business models bring many unprecedented choices in how we create and distribute power. There are three overarching questions, of course: Is this energy model resilient against power outages and grid failure? Is it socially and environmentally responsible? Does it benefit the bottom line?
We are no longer stuck with grid power that doesn’t provide a definitive “Yes!” answer to all three questions. 

Solar Energy International: Reaching Millions, One Roof at a Time

Photo by Solar Energy International

I recently had an opportunity to visit the on-site training campus of Solar Energy International (SEI), located in Paonia, Colorado, a quaint town of 1500 people in western Colorado. I was so impressed with SEI’s mostly outdoor training center, in a spectacularly beautiful location, that I wanted to share it with you. HOMER Energy’s focus for the next month is to highlight the urgent need for millions of people to understand how small-scale, […]

NREL’s ESIF Issues Annual Call for User Access Proposals

call for proposalsESIF. Photo via Smith Group JJR.

HOMER Energy — whose HOMER Pro prototype was developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) — announces the NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF)  annual call for user access proposals. The call for proposals is now open through August 1, 2017, for projects focused on advancing grid modernization, energy systems integration, and renewable generation. The ESIF facility is the DOE’s first user facility conducting integrated megawatt-scale research, development, and demonstration of the components and […]

Microgrid Investment Accelerator Seeks to Finance Deployment of Microgrid Projects

HOMER Pro Modeling Locations

The Microgrid Investment Accelerator (MIA) is seeking to finance the deployment of microgrid projects with qualified and experienced renewable energy service companies (RESCOs). To qualify, RESCOs must have at least one installed and operational microgrid in rural India, Indonesia, or Tanzania. In addition, MIA can only consider projects that: *Are over 5 KW in peak generation capacity *Use renewable energy as the primary generation source *Have a specific focus on providing energy access to un- […]

MGN Weekly: Moving Past Lights and Chargers in Developing World; Syrian Microgrids Save Lives

von Bismarck syrian hospital microgrids

“Light is, of course, great, so is entertainment [like computers and TV],” says Busso von Bismarck, founder, manager, and head of business development at energy storage provider Qinous. “But I think it’s important to go further and allow people to run machines with electricity: milling machines, welding or workshops, water pumping. These are applications which make economic growth possible.”

MGN Weekly — Advancing Africa’s Top Priority: Light and Power …and More Microgrid News — May 18, 2017

Africa's top priority: light and power for all

Solar microgrids in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state did little to improve household incomes, encourage business ownership, or reduce the long hours that people spend on daily household work, a new study finds. According to the year-long, randomized survey of nearly 1,300 households in 81 non-electrified rural communities, villagers did buy less kerosene for their lamps, since they could flip on light bulbs at night. But their lives were otherwise unchanged, showing that local officials, energy companies, and NGOs alike need to address other pressing issues — such as underfunded schools or dismal job prospects — before rural electrification can really lift people out of poverty.

IRENA Annual Review 2017 — More Jobs Worldwide in Renewables than in Fossil Fuel

HOMER Pro 3.9

More than 9.8 million people were employed in the renewable energy sector in 2016 — continuing to increase over 2015 numbers — according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Released at the organization’s recent council meeting, the fourth edition Renewable Energy and Jobs –(IRENA) Annual Review 2017 provides the latest employment figures in the renewable energy sector as well as insight into factors affecting the RE labor market. The report presents the status of renewable energy employment, both by technology and in selected countries, over the past year.

MGN Weekly: Are Indian Microgrids a Failure? Will Pittsburgh’s ‘Grid of Microgrids’ Succeed? …and More Microgrid News — May 18, 2017

india microgrid failurePoor Indian household (farm) 6. House and cows in yard. Andhra Pradesh, Anantapur

Solar microgrids in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state did little to improve household incomes, encourage business ownership, or reduce the long hours that people spend on daily household work, a new study finds. According to the year-long, randomized survey of nearly 1,300 households in 81 non-electrified rural communities, villagers did buy less kerosene for their lamps, since they could flip on light bulbs at night. But their lives were otherwise unchanged, showing that local officials, energy companies, and NGOs alike need to address other pressing issues — such as underfunded schools or dismal job prospects — before rural electrification can really lift people out of poverty.

MGN Weekly: Taking Suburbia Off Grid, Myanmar Microgrids, and More News from HOMER Energy — May 12, 2017

myanmar microgrids

A solar and battery storage microgrid trial by Victorian network operator AusNet Services has succeeded in taking part of a Melbourne suburb completely off grid, demonstrating how utilities can use solar, battery storage and the internet of things to boost energy security and reliability in the future. AusNet said on Wednesday that eight homes had been successfully separated from Victoria’s main electricity grid and operated together as a stand-alone solar and battery storage powered microgrid.

Will Crowdfunding Revolutionize Microgrids?

crowdfunding microgrids

Traditional fmicrogrid crowdfundingunding methods often make it difficult to raise capital for microgrid projects, especially those created to specifically for populations with limited means. Funding from NGOs or government agencies is difficult to secure. Crowdfunding, on the other hand, raises capital through the collective effort of individual small investors, making microgrid and other critical projects a reality all over the world — in fact, the World Bank predicts crowdfunding in the developing world will exceed US$96 billion per year within the next 10 years.