Microgrids and Our Energy Future: Two Pundits Weigh In
Although it’s a big stretch to say that power microgrids are “about” to become mainstream, two recent articles by thought leaders in the energy world illustrate that it won’’t take much of a change in thinking to catapult microgrids into the mainstream.
Amory Lovins, co-founder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, recently published a piece in Time Ideas about how microgrids can help achieve energy security. The vulnerability of a central grid is becoming increasingly recognized, and microgrids both serve as a means to incorporate high penetrations of renewable energy as well as to stabilize energy delivery during grid failure.
At the same time, the economics of renewable energy are changing rapidly. David Crane, CEO of NRG, one of the largest US utilities, was recently interviewed by Yale Environment 360, and Crane’s opinion was clear – the energy future is with distributed renewables. His advantage is understanding how smart utilities can position themselves to take advantage of this changing landscape.
The original links to the article by Lovins and the Crane interview are here:
- Impatient For The Smart Grid, Microgrids Establish Their Own Power Systems (fastcompany.com)
- NRG Energy CEO: Roof-top solar cheaper than grid in 3-5 years (junkscience.com)
- Army tests ‘microgrids’ to get smarter about energy (news.cnet.com)
- A Microgrid That Wouldn’t Quit (spectrum.ieee.org)