The energy crisis is real and it’s going to be one of the major roadblocks in the development journey of developing nations. The day-by-day population is growing and with that, the energy demand is also growing.
Our entire life is dependent on energy and in recent years it has been proven that national grids are not able to fulfill the energy demand. There are still a lot of places where the grid cannot supply electricity and in the case of grid failure due to any XYZ reason, a large portion of the population suffers.
In the modern world, power grids are the first thing targeted during the war. The energy crisis in Ukraine is a real-time example of this.
The entire base of Net Zero is dependent on how reliable our power supply and that’s why micro-grids are required.
Let’s understand what are microgrids and what will be their role in India’s roadmap to net zero.
What is a microgrid?
A microgrid is a self-sufficient energy system that provides power to a specific geographic area, such as a neighborhood, business district, hospital complex, or college campus.
One or more types of distributed energy (solar panels, wind turbines, combined heat and power plants, and generators) are used in microgrids to generate power. Now, microgrids also have energy storage, usually in the form of batteries.
Why Microgrids are important for Net Zero?
What happens when the electricity is cut off? People will not be able to access the internet for work or school, they will have difficulty getting access to medical care or other vital supplies. Businesses will have to temporarily shut down, the supply chain will be interrupted, and telecommunications failures will make it difficult to communicate in any way.
Our grids are under pressure as energy consumption is rising exponentially. We must close the energy gap as we continue to respond to catastrophic weather events, the expanding population, and the growing need for online learning, work, and connection. The old power grids were not designed to handle such massic energy demand, but microgrids offer solutions to all of those problems.
The microgrid concept has been successful in assembling distributed energy resources for resiliency in the form of energy security, including generation, storage, and loads. During power outages and prolonged blackouts caused by severe weather, cyberattacks, and equipment failures, microgrids’ effectiveness in bringing energy security to a wide spectrum of customers—from individual houses to commercial and industrial establishments to military bases—has been demonstrated.
Microgrids now have a chance to help create a carbon-free electricity supply system and address the difficulties posed by climate change.
Use of Renewable Energy:
Microgrids are well-positioned to contribute significantly to the growth and grid-wide integration of renewable energy sources, facilitating the energy transition. Any energy source can be used to generate electricity on-site, and many microgrids use green energy sources like solar energy and tiny wind turbines.
Microgrids can store energy for use at a later time thanks to the use of battery storage, which helps to supply continuous, dependable electricity from often cyclical power generation sources like solar and wind. For use after emergencies or during energy spikes, storage also offers backup energy.
Local and Independent Energy Source:
One of the most important characteristics of microgrids is they are independent and do not get affected by grid failure. The energy sources are local, the management of the microgrid is local and the consumer of the electricity is also local.
Microgrids are a suitable area to test, deploy, and scale up developing renewable technologies like hydrogen because of their small-scale storage repositories and capacity to use different energy sources.
Additionally, microgrids support another new energy transition theme: electric vehicles (EVs). EV batteries can be used as microgrid storage’s “second life” batteries.
Benefits of Micro-grids:
The advantages of microgrids are immeasurable: they prevent disruptions to our everyday lives and provide power to homes, important enterprises, and communities when it is most required. Reliable power keeps our communities safe and connected, minimizes disruptions and damage, and saves money. Microgrid solutions are helping individuals keep their access to power while reducing power outages, reducing carbon footprints, and saving money on energy.
Microgrids as a business
You can design your microgrid and start selling electricity.
Yeah, you heard it right, anyone can start an energy business by installing a solar-powered micro-grid and setting up a distribution network along with smart meters.