Renewable energy has been in the spotlight for decades now. However, until recently, it has been slow to gain traction as a robust competitor. Microgrids, specifically, are newer, more promising innovations.
These grids offer a decentralized approach to energy distribution and management — meaning more people can have access to reliable, durable and sustainable energy systems. With these smaller microgrids popping up, energy focuses on a specific section instead of a large city.
For instance, the energy company AlphaStruxure is working with John F. Kennedy International Airport to bring 100% renewable energy to the airport through microgrid technology. These grids will then use solar, wind or another sustainable power to capture energy and convert it to electricity.
A landmark institution like this airport is a sign of progress for microgrids and renewability overall. Recent energy trends showed renewable energy overtaking coal usage and production. Now, microgrids are rising with those renewable sources to continue competing with fossil fuels.
Now that microgrids have made inroads in commercial energy management, it's time for businesses, governments and communities to reap the benefits, gaining better control over their resources.
For any business, professional or homeowner who wishes to have a powerful energy source that reduces electric bill prices, microgrids have become the go-to resource. The latest technology has made them a beacon of progress. For instance, management systems allow users to understand how much energy they consume and optimize it.
With reports and data, managers can see how much energy their grid is using. They can then send this information out to the businesses or residents that use the grid. That way, users can see how much they will owe and how the grid operates. Since microgrids are efficient with energy storage, users won't owe as much as they would with fossil fuels.
Further, microgrids are reliable during extreme weather. From blizzards to sweltering heat, microgrids aren't operating on large scales and therefore have less chance of failures or surges while providing energy to its users.
A relevant example is California's current wildfires. The state plans to use microgrids to provide residents and emergency workers with power, since the grids offer more resilience, preventing more blackouts than other energy sources.
The grids handle most of the work and experts can monitor production, making it easier to manage California residents' energy needs.
For energy management, microgrids are a leader. They offer insights into data and usage that managers and users wouldn't otherwise get with other energy sources. However, the industry must still see improvements for microgrids to become more standardized.
A decentralized grid is more accessible to residents and businesses. The prices of both using and managing the energy must continue to decrease, though, to make them a popular resource. Then, all residents can partake and start switching over to renewable sources.
The power and energy sources for microgrids must maintain their reliability, too. Though some grids use a hybrid method, combining sources like solar and diesel, the goal should be complete renewability.
With more accessibility, renewability and cost-effectiveness, microgrids will be crucial for managing energy for residents and industries alike.
With the right tools and goals for the future, microgrid energy management will continue to prosper. Its efficiency, renewable potential and reliability make it a prime resource to invest in. Managing it then becomes easier than ever with the right data, feedback and distribution.