distributed generation

Will the real microgrid please stand up? (What is a microgrid and why should I care?)

Stromversorgung - Umspannwerk

This is the second post in the HOMER Energy Microgrid Learning Series, designed to help the layperson understand what microgrids are and why they will soon be a household word. Microgrids are independent energy systems that provide grid backup or off-grid power. A slightly more technical definition is a local power network that uses distributed energy resources and manages local energy supply and demand. To start with the very basic, the two key […]

Microgrid Value Propositions

Microgrids are power systems that can operate autonomously using combinations of conventional generation technologies, such as diesel gensets and combined heat and power systems, renewable resources, other new generation technologies, such as micro-turbines and fuel cells, energy storage systems, and load management systems.  There are three distinct microgrid value propositions that are useful for segmenting their market: increasing reliability, reducing fuel consumption, and reducing emissions. Microgrids for reliability Because most electric service outages […]

Shift to renewable energy driven by economics

Investment and success with renewable energy will be driven, ultimately, by economics. Today’s stories focus strongly in the arena of value, as we shift from a fossil-fuel dominated world to one dominated by clean renewables. Solar home systems have been mostly driven by personal philosophy and incentives. However new research indicates that solar systems add significant value to a home. But home systems are not nearly enough. Investments in transmission are needed to […]

Microgrids in the News 03/28/2011

Distributed Energy: A Field in Flux Optimism is in the air as industry experts weigh in on their opinions of the state of the distributed-generation industry. Improvements in technology, a slowly reviving economy, and a greater spirit of partnership between public and private entities are granting distributed-generation projects a second look. A renewed interest on both the state (California, New York, Connecticut) and federal (Department of Energy) levels means tax incentives to build […]

Migrogrids in the News 03/15/2011

Top Energy Stories: Japan Faces Potential Nuclear Disaster as Radiation Levels Rise Japan’s nuclear crisis verged toward catastrophe on Tuesday after an explosion damaged the vessel containing the nuclear core at one reactor and a fire at another spewed large amounts of radioactive material into the air. More Black Swan Over Tokyo This post on the Japanese nuclear crisis focuses on the “Black Swan” theory of philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who wrote a […]

Microgrids in the News 03/07/2011

  Today’s resources and news stories: Deploying Advanced Energy Storage Makes Sense Small-scale Renewable Energy Hits the Big Time in the UK Renewable energy standards: The health, security, and competitiveness benefits Diverse coalition endorses feed-in tariff for Los Angeles Caterpillar Delivers Increased Power And Reduced Operating Costs For G3512E And G3520E Gas Generator Sets

Can the Smart Grid Exist Without Renewable Energy?

In this article summarizing the Distributech Conference and Exhibition, All About the Smart Grid, author Elizabeth Cutright puts forth the argument that no true “smart grid” can exist without full inclusion of renewable energy. Here at Microgrid News we could not agree more. Let’s get a Smart Grid, not a “more modern stupid grid.”

Demand response, distributed generation, and utilities in focus as we move to a renewable energy future

First Micro-Grid, Distributed Energy Resource Community Coming to California California Dreaming?  While the utility companies grapple with how they will incorporate the renewable energy needed to meet California’s renewable energy goals, Sunverge Energy moves forward with the first private commercial micro-grid project of its kind in California.  The project, called 2500 R Street, will enable homeowners to achieve net zero energy efficiency at an unprecedented rate of affordability.  Montana wrestles with its own […]

Clean, Smart Micro-grids

Despite recent experiments with deregulation, the current top-down utility paradigm has remained essentially unchanged for a century. Large central station generators provide an undifferentiated power product over a high voltage transmission system. Consumer needs are not undifferentiated in two important ways. Electric applications vary dramatically in terms of the value of reliability. Consumers vary dramatically in their willingness to pay to reduce the environmental impact of their energy consumption. Utilities have started to […]