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Microgrid adoption by utilities will increase steadily over the next several years, as awareness of, and confidence in, the microgrid model's capabilities and benefits will grow, according to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice.

The report, titled "Utility Distribution Microgrids," predicts the total worldwide capacity of utility distribution microgrids - including investor-owned utility, public power grid-tied, and remote microgrids - will nearly triple in the next six years, reaching 1.2 GW in 2018. Annual vendor revenue from utility distribution microgrids will reach almost $3.3 billion in 2018.

"A handful of utility innovators are moving forward with microgrid projects despite significant institutional bias and regulatory obstacles," says senior research analyst Peter Asmus. "These early adopters are heralding a future in which microgrids will become a more prevalent part of the distribution utility landscape."

The report concludes that North America (especially the U.S.) represents the best overall market for all microgrid segments, in terms of aggregate capacity, including utility microgrids.

However, due in large part to the broad expected growth of renewable distributed energy generation and the interwoven relationships between municipal governments, state-run grids and government-owned utilities, the Asia Pacific region will likely lead the world in total utility distribution microgrid vendor revenue over the long term.

Additionally, although Europe’s deregulated utility markets offer a more hospitable regulatory environment for microgrids than those in other regions, the expansion of utility distribution microgrids will be slower in Europe than in other areas, the report adds.

For more information about Pike's report, click here.




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