Global utilities are expected to increase their micro-grid capacity by 19% per annum between 2020 and 2029, according to Guidehouse Insights.

Increasing power outages and deployments of distributed energy resources (DER) are forcing utilities to confront the limits of traditional grid infrastructure.

As a result, more utilities are showing interest in micro-grids and are working to overcome a past bias against the technology due to fears of negative impacts on incumbent grids and potential loss of revenue.

It is estimated that the utility market will increase micro-grid capacity from 779.9MW to 3,739.6MW during the forecast period.

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The unregulated branches of utilities are pushing the envelope, particularly on the financing front, by fostering project development outside of traditional regulatory realms that have revolved around traditional rate base systems.

Peter Asmus, research director with Guidehouse Insights, said: “There is a growing recognition of how micro-grids can overlap and integrate with platforms such as DER management systems and virtual power plants (VPPs), which proves that creative aggregations can provide value across the new energy landscape.

“Forward-looking utilities seek to refine their role within the emerging Energy Cloud framework.”

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The lack of an industry/globally recognised standard or uniform for micro-grids deployment and utility ownership structure is has raised questions regarding whether micro-grids are a good fit for utilities.

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