Declining costs have made reliance on renewable energy more attractive – with the result that the commercial and industrial (C&I) microgrid sector is the fastest growing worldwide.
According to a new report from Guidehouse Insights, the C&I microgrid market is evolving into one of the most innovative microgrid markets, as technology advances make the transition from fossil fuel to renewables increasingly cost-effective.
The report examines the public policy and technology drivers accelerating the adoption of C&I microgrids. The report provides global forecasts for microgrid sub-segments on both a capacity and implementation spending basis through 2030.
Historically, the C&I microgrid segment has lagged behind other market segments, primarily because of the lack of a clear value proposition based on an ROI for microgrids. In the last decade, however, it has emerged as the fastest growing microgrid market worldwide.
“The cost of solar PV continues to decline over time, which in turn, makes microgrids more attractive for C&I customers, as their primary focus is on cost reductions,” says Peter Asmus, research director with Guidehouse Insights. “Furthermore, cost-competitive energy storage, which most commonly comes in the form of batteries, is the key hardware technology advancement that is expected to enable a more attractive microgrid value proposition for C&I microgrids.”
However, the C&I microgrid segment also faces hurdles. Many C&I customers, such as data centres, first focus on what they deem practical solutions to their reliability concerns, such as backup diesel generators and redundant utility feeds. Connecting newer infrastructure (e.g., solar PV and advanced batteries) with older existing infrastructure can present challenges.
The report, Commercial and Industrial Microgrids, forecasts four C&I sub-segments (grid-tied commercial, grid-tied industrial, remote commercial, and remote industrial) on both a capacity and implementation spending basis.