Message from the Founder

Although this shouldn’t be surprising to readers of Microgrid News, it is nice to see the International Energy Agency (IEA) acknowledge the rapid growth in renewable energy. We are expecting the next year to see a similar growth in storage as batteries get less expensive and more durable and the supply chain for stationary batteries matures.  This is why we have always focused on hybrid systems that combine renewable energy with storage. The first applications of hybrid systems were in remote areas. Our article on solar kiosks in Zambia is a great example of that type of application.  

The growing interest in resilience combines nicely with the growing adoption of electric vehicles (EV). We expect to see more solar carports installations that include energy storage. One of the challenges of fast charging stations is their high kW demand cannot be accommodated by many local distribution systems. Upgrading the local distribution system can be very costly, but stationary storage at the EV charging station can alleviate the need for that upgrade. It can also reduce the EV charging station’s demand charges. This requires very site-specific analysis to identify where a microgrid would be a less-expensive solution or where a modest increase in cost could be acceptable in return for the increase in reliability and resilience that the microgrid enables.   

All of the increased potential for microgrids has led us to partner with Microgrid Knowledge and Cameron Brooks, who have created a microgrid industry association, Think Microgrid, to work with policy makers to remove regulatory obstacles and accelerate the adoption of microgrids with their attendant resilience and carbon reduction benefits. 

Finally, soon will open registration for our 9th annual conference, renamed the HOMER Microgrid and Hybrid Power International. We’ve lined up excellent speakers and sessions. Please stay tuned for more information on the agenda and registration.