Interest is rising in the clean energy microgrid, especially within healthcare, higher education, government and business. What’s the attraction? All microgrids offer greater electric reliability. But the clean energy microgrid does more. It also reduces carbon emissions and helps organizations reach sustainability goals—an achievement increasingly valued by the healthcare community, business customers, government constituents, and college students, parents and donors. How do they do this? Clean energy microgrids produce electricity, and sometimes heat, using some combination of renewable energy, combined heat and power (CHP), and energy storage.
In doing so, they are part of vibrant green trend sweeping the energy sector. In fact, renewable energy now provides almost one-fifth of U.S. electric generation, and federal analysts forecast that it will be the fastest growing source of electricity over the next two decades. Meanwhile, energy storage is expected to grow almost seven-fold in just five years, according to research firm IHS. Demand for CHP continues, too, as institutions and businesses seek out ways to make their energy supply increasingly efficient. This tried-and-true resource reuses a heat byproduct of electric generation that otherwise goes to waste in conventional power plants. Today, CHP represents eight percent of U.S. electric capacity, but has much more potential.MGK Report The Rise of Clean Energy Microgrids