Serious money is now flowing into a technology that is set to transform how electricity is produced and distributed in every corner of the globe. Mike Scott reports
Type the word “microgrids” into a search engine and two stories sit next to each other. The first, from MIT Technology Review, is headlined How Solar-Based Microgrids Could Bring Power to Millions, and highlights the potential of microgrids to provide power to 1.5 billion people, many of them in remote areas in the developing world; the second, in Scientific American, proclaims A Microgrid Grows in Brooklyn.
The latter article outlines how a start-up company called LO3 Energy is helping owners of solar panels in the New York neighbourhood to sell their surplus energy to neighbours who want to use more green energy, rather than having to sell it (at cost) to the local utility.
The juxtaposition of the two stories is a neat illustration of how this nascent technology could provide the solution to a host of challenges in both the developed world and across emerging markets.
In places such as Africa and South East Asia, microgrids can help provide access to energy to people with no power
“The world is becoming more and more electric,” says Matthieu Mounier, head of the microgrid business at Schneider Electric. “In places such as Africa and South East Asia, microgrids can help provide...