Urban microgrids report: overview, challenges & opportunities
ENEA Consulting published the results of a study on urban microgrids conducted in partnership with the Group ADP, the Group Caisse des Dépôts, ENEDIS, Omexom, Total and the Tuck Fundation. Through three real case studies – an eco-neighborhood, a factory, an airport – the study presents the upcoming challenges that microgrid stakeholders will face (regulation, business models, technology).
Urban microgrids and decentralized electricity production
The electricity production and distribution system, the backbone of an increasingly urban and energy-dependent society, must urgently be shifted towards more resilient, efficient and environment-friendly infrastructures. Decentralized electricity production in densely populated areas is an opportunity to achieve this transition.
Local electricity production and self-consumption in cities is hardly new: the energy security needs of some sensitive sites (hospitals, military bases, research centers, etc.) have long been addressed by local private networks able to provide back-up electricity if the main grid goes down. Some have been upgraded to “microgrids” where local production supplies base electricity to grid-connected end-user(s), and on-site assets are still able to run the microgrid in off-grid mode for a limited period of time.
Towards many promises: resiliency, reduced costs and sustainability of electricity supply
The integration of recent advances in renewable energy and smart grid technologies in such urban microgrids holds many promises: resiliency, reduced costs, and sustainability of electricity supply. This potential has sparked interest among different stakeholders, such as energy companies, utilities, end-users and public authorities.
The present study offers a vision of the definition of an urban microgrid, the value brought by a microgrid in different contexts based on real case studies1, and the upcoming challenges that microgrid stakeholders will face.