What are Microgrids?

with 60% of the human population set to

be living in urban areas by 2030 and

pressure on regional and national power

grids continuing to grow a number of

cities are now turning towards localized

energy production for new developments

as the name suggests micro grids are

small-scale electrical networks that

operate independently or in tandem with

large-scale electrical supplies while

many national and regional electrical

grids are now powered in part by

renewable energy the majority still

depend on nuclear and fossil fuels to

deliver the bulk of their power

conversely micro grids make heavy use of

renewables such as photovoltaics and

wind turbines to generate energy for use

within a specific building or

development this enables them to power

their systems and operate without adding

to the demands of the winder electrical

network on-site energy production and

storage can enable a new development to

become self-sufficient and help fill in

the gaps that can arise on overstretched

electrical grids as part of their pledge

to honor the 2016 Paris agreement on

climate change cities around the world

including several in the United States

are passing legislation to make all new

public buildings and developments in

mission free the use of micro grids can

contribute significantly to achieving

these requirements whilst better

insulating large urban areas from

potential power failures or blackouts

excess energy generated on small-scale

systems can be stored on-site for use at

a later date or be fed back into wider

power grids when necessary whilst

legislation is one step private

enterprise is also getting on board with

micro grids and localized energy

production pursuing clear environmental

benefits and reduced operating costs

developers are beginning to integrate

systems from forward-thinking

manufacturers and technology

entrepreneurs alike one such

manufacturer is Polish

a uk-based firm have developed

transparent photovoltaic Glaus their

panels can be used to cover large areas

without obstructing views and resemble

conventional windows though currently

emerging this system could be adapted to

cover larger glass buildings in cities

around the world allowing them to

generate much of their own electricity

on a more domestic scale Elon Musk's

Tesla solar roof integrates

photovoltaics into conventional

appearance roof tiles turning entire

surfaces into localized power generators

this system is integrated with the tesla

powerwall allowing excess energy to be

stored and used throughout the year many

large and small-scale developments are

also now incorporating wind turbines to

generate power and feed their micro

grids reducing their reliance on

regional and national power networks

energy market analysts Pike research

estimate that micro grid power

generation has now increased fivefold

from 2012 levels and with an increasing

array of innovations coming to market we

could see entire cities and urban areas

powered very differently in the years

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