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Renewable Energy Supply Options: Macrogrid vs. Microgrid

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We are on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution. There are numerous opportunities to save on energy costs while decreasing our carbon footprint. Once you have decided to embrace renewable energy, there are many other important decisions to make. Regarding using solar power, you must consider the choice between a macrogrid and a microgrid.
Renewable Energy Supply Options: Macrogrid vs. Microgrid
Courtesy of NREL

Macrogrid electrical systems

Conventionally, a grid is an electricity network that connects power plants, the infrastructure composed of wires and poles, and the consumers (industries, business establishments, and homes). A macrogrid is either government-owned or privatized. If you own a solar and battery storage system that is connected to the macrogrid, you can consume energy from the grid itself. You can also send energy into it.

This grid system is resilient and largely reliable. In the meantime, a microgrid is a localized version of the system that may or may not be connected to a macrogrid. A microgrid may be embedded into an existing system. In comparison to a country-wide distribution of a macrogrid, a microgrid may be composed of a smaller-scale system connecting three houses or an entire town or city. Some microgrids are purpose-built to be independent, self-contained hubs.

Small-scale generation systems

A macrogrid connects consumers to a central power source, which means that in a power outage, everyone connected to the network is cut off from the energy source. Many microgrids in operation are still connected to the larger grid, but in a power outage, the members of the microgrid would still have use of electrical power using local energy generation. In this kind of setup, we can see that a microgrid is a reliable power source in times of need.

The advent of small-scale distributed generation, such as rooftop solar installations has gained traction in many parts of the world. This revolution in energy distribution and utilization is advantageous to the consumer. A homeowner opting for a microgrid enjoys the benefits of meeting a portion or all of the energy needs of the household from a solar installation at home instead of an electrical power plant serving the entire community. In certain settings such as underdeveloped areas or towns that are not served reliably by a macrogrid, a microgrid is a practical and economically advantageous choice.

These days, you can opt to be connected to a community microgrid instead of a conventional macrogrid and be an active participant instead of merely a passive consumer. The main advantage of a community microgrid is the individual-centered nature of the system. To be reliable, efficient, and seamless, a microgrid system should employ the latest in smart technology.

Summary

A macrogrid is a familiar and stable source of electricity. But if you are concerned about the rising cost of consumption and irked by power outages, perhaps you’ll consider the benefits of being part of a microgrid that utilized clean, renewable energy. A good system supplies your home with an uninterrupted power supply generated from solar, water, geothermal, or wind energy.

About the author:

Enrique Hormillo is a Business Development Executive at SolarNRG Philippines. Its parent company, SolarNRG Netherlands is one of the largest suppliers and installers of solar power system in Europe.

Enrique’s experience stretches beyond business development as he also works as a Marketing Director for a motorsport store – further solidifying his business acumen.

 

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