Asian investment in microgrids to soar

The number of microgrid projects deployed in Asia Pacific, both for electrification purposes and as experimental test beds, is rising in response to unprecedented growth in demand for electricity and generation capacity from renewable energy sources in the Asia Pacific region.

According to a recent report from Navigant Research, cumulative investment in microgrids across the region will total $30.8 billion from 2014 to 2023 with the most attractive microgrid market in remote microgrids, which operate autonomously or have yet to be connected to a larger grid.

Inspired by demand from consumers and recent economic development, remote microgrids will show strong growth in these countries through 2023. Some of the developed nations, including Australia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, will pursue technology development and pilot projects in the next few years and then will deploy diverse applications, especially in the commercial/industrial, campus/institutional, and community/utility microgrid segments. Navigant Research forecasts that annual grid-tied and remote microgrid capacity in the nine select Asia Pacific countries will grow from 37.0 MW in 2013 to 597.3 MW in 2023.

In the developing Asia Pacific nations, these remote power systems have traditionally burned diesel fuel as their primary source of electricity, but declining costs for renewables are increasing the business prospects for remote microgrids, Navigant’s analysis finds.

‘Several of the most heavily populated countries in the Asia Pacific region, including China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, are experiencing very high rates of rural electrification,’ noted Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research, adding: ‘Both developed and developing countries in the region are turning to microgrids to extend electrical service to remote and underserved communities.’

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