Distributed Generation: Minigrid Microgrid Zero Emission 2018-2038

        Grid electricity is being bypassed. Extension of national grids is nowhere near keeping up with population growth. The sheer cost of upgrading national grids and their vulnerability to terrorism and natural disasters is leading to clean off grid power. It will also replace 800 GW of diesel gensets.
 
        The new 370+ page IDTechEx report, “Off Grid Distributed Generation: Minigrid and Microgrid 2018-2038” reveals the market drivers and changing technologies involved. Primarily it concerns the rapid expansion of clean distributed energy as microgrids and minigrids of 0.5kW- 1MW.

        The Executive Summary and Conclusions includes detailed forecasts and technology roadmaps. The Introduction explains off grid history, definitions, comparison of the ten energy harvesting technologies, the fringe topic geothermal and the nature and challenges of off grid batteries plus electricity cost comparisons. A chapter on progress and opportunities worldwide: profiles continents and 21 countries.

        Chapter 4 compares technologies in more detail than earlier. The emphasis is on what is new and important for the future: this is seen in the drill down chapter on electricity from light and infrared scoping such things as perovskites, Building Integrated Photovoltaics BIPV, solar vs piezo roads and “Silent City” leading to the chapter on electricity from wind including a close look at the newly commercial Aerial Wind Energy AWE and such things as piezo + photovoltaic sails as multi-mode harvesting becomes important. Off grid electricity from water is then explained with a detailed look at off grid battery technologies at the end of the report.
 
        The presentation is compact with new detailed infograms and forecasts and a creative, critical approach by the many PhD level analysts who have toured the world to gain the information using local languages for technical interviews. It is shown that the biggest markets are on the mainland initially mainly in developing countries but mini grids are popular in island states, both developed and developing. There are more than 10,000 inhabited islands around the world and an estimated 750 million islanders and the report profiles many doing off grid, giving gives statistics, trends and achievements. In most cases, renewables are already a cost-effective replacement for their diesel generators and others benefit from solar panels taking much of their load as is also scoped in Africa and elsewhere.
 
        The report even shows that vehicles and charging stations where needed will become micro and mini grids increasingly not connected to national grids. For example, Tesla promises solar bodywork and Elon Musk says he will take all his intended 10 GW of charging stations worldwide off grid. There is a clear roadmap in the report showing 2.2 million larger vehicles becoming candidates for energy independence as clean off grid minigrids in 2028 including the largest ships having zero emission instead of each emitting NOx and particulates of millions of cars.

        Off grid is shown to be a prudent diversification for utilities and fossil fuel companies now investing in it. The potential is considerable and for the first time it has now been fully scoped by this report, from single solar panels on huts in Africa to the 17 types of land vehicle, boat, ship and plane from 2014-2028 that will trend to being travelling minigrids with zero emission.

Source: idtechex.com