Collaboration of Supporting Technologies Power the Expansion of Microgrids

Frost & Sullivan finds sophisticated yet cost-effective communication, sensor and storage innovations will set the stage for extensive microgrid deployments

Nov 17, 2015, 08:17 ET from Frost & Sullivan

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With rapid advancements in several supporting technologies, microgrids are emerging from the shadow of centralized electricity grids. Developments in information and communication technologies, sensors, energy storage and power electronics, in particular, are lending momentum to microgrid expansion. By 2020, fully functional microgrids will gain traction across the globe.

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Recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Technology Advances Empowering Microgrids (, finds that improvements in sensors will bolster the efficiency of microgrids while sophisticated energy storage devices, such as advanced batteries and super-capacitors, will facilitate efficient distributed power flow. Similarly, the use of wide band gap semiconductor-based power electronics will deliver fast switching and better power handling capabilities even as faster communication protocols for microgrids pave the way for better grid and source control.

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"The emergence of the Internet of Things will strengthen communication channels between machines and minimize human intervention, thereby speeding up the shift to an integrated microgrid structure," said TechVision Research Analyst Guhan Sriram R V. "The incorporation of predictive analysis will further bolster the reliability of the microgrid."

Though these technologies are raising the bar in terms of smarter grids, the capital required to erect and commission state-of-the-art microgrids appear prohibitively high for certain users, especially remote communities. The complexity of integrating and enabling power exchanges between microgrids erected by different suppliers adds to the challenge.

Government initiatives and funding in large proportions will be vital to plug the gap between the need for microgrids and the shortfall in resources. Governments must enforce suitable policies regulating cost of power, power quality and power buyback to ensure smooth operations.

Across the globe, governments have already set the ball rolling. In Asia, South Korea and Singapore have set up individual microgrid test beds as forerunners for smarter distributed energy systems. Currently, North America and Europe lead the way in microgrid installations, but Asia and Africa are set to offer vast growth opportunities after 2020.

"Microgrids would help bring in deregulation in power systems, thereby end an era of monopolized power sector in some regions. This will open the market to private energy providers, increase the competition, and bring down the cost of electricity," noted Guhan.

Technology Advances Empowering Microgrids, a part of the TechVision ( subscription, offers a detailed account of the types of microgrids and the innovations that will bring the vision of sophisticated microgrids to fruition. The study also outlines the technological roadmap of microgrids and offers strategic perspectives on the future of the technology. Further, this research service profiles key innovators in the global microgrids space.

TechVision is a global technology innovation-, disruption- and convergence-focused practice of Frost & Sullivan that provides a variety of technology-based alerts, newsletters and research services as well as growth consulting services. Its premier offering, the TechVision program, identifies and evaluates the most valuable emerging and disruptive technologies enabling products with near-term potential. A unique feature of the TechVision program is an annual selection of 50 technologies that can generate convergence scenarios, possibly disrupt the innovation landscape, and drive transformational growth. View a summary of our TechVision program by clicking on the following ifrost link:

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Technology Advances Empowering Microgrids

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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan