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North America is the world's leading market for microgrids, with a planned, proposed and deployed capacity of about 2.7 GW, according to a new tracker report from Navigant Research.

Of that capacity, Navigant says approximately 1.5 GW is online and more than 1.2 GW is planned, under development or proposed.

Navigant reports that North America represents 65% of the global market. Europe has 523 MW of microgrid capacity and a 13% market share. Asia Pacific totals 474 MW for an 11% share, and the rest of the world makes up the final 11% with 439 MW of capacity.

In terms of currently operating microgrids, the research firm reports that global capacity stands at 2.3 GW as of  the fourth quarter of this year (4Q'13). The global remote segment leads in new capacity additions with 195 MW stemming from 86 new projects. These additions reflect the remote microgrid market's increasing visibility, Navigant notes.

In addition, Navigant has identified 41 new projects in the community/utility segment, which represents the greatest increase in the number of grid-connected projects in 4Q'13.

"This tracker identifies more than 600 microgrid project entries, underscoring the fact that utility business models will need to accommodate a growing reliance upon distributed energy resources," says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant. "While subsidies for renewable energy are waning in several key markets, the need for new aggregation and optimization platforms and schemes will continue to grow. Microgrids are often the best solution to a variety of environmental and economic challenges."

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