In its latest report analyzing the global microgrid sector, Navigant Research has identified a total of 1,842 microgrid projects worldwide, totaling nearly 20 gigawatts in capacity.
Navigant Research’s latest edition of its Microgrid Deployment Tracker highlights remote projects leading all microgrid segments in terms of capacity and in number of projects. The report also reflects strong capacity increases across the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment, which has added more than 2 gigawatts (GW). According to Navigant Research, as of the second quarter of 2017, there are a total of 1,842 microgrid projects lodged in its Tracker, representing a total of 19,279 megawatts (MW) of capacity.
“Within the next decade, microgrids serving C&I applications are expected to become the fastest-growing segment as more companies seek stable power solutions beyond what the grid can provide,” said Adam Wilson, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Market share in this segment increased from 6 percent to 16 percent from the 4Q 2016 Tracker, thanks to an additional 2.1 GW of capacity, largely from a portfolio of natural gas microgrids across India and China.”
The Tracker has been slowly updated for some time now, but Navigant believes this latest update to be “one of the more significant updates” it has made, adding 173 new projects accounting for 2,428.7 MW. Mind you, a total of 126 microgrid projects were added in the fourth quarter 2016 Tracker, showing just how strong the microgrid sector is progressing. Another 95 projects already existing in the Tracker database were also updated to account for 297.9 MW of updated capacity.
The microgrid sector is not only expanding in size, but expanding geographically as well. As of this latest Tracker report, there are now 135 countries represented across all seven continents. Expansion for the microgrid industry has long been expected, and in May Navigant published a report which predicted the global market for commercial and industrial (C&I) microgrids would increase dramatically over the next few years, reaching reaching 5,389.1 megawatts annually by 2026, up from only 448.3 megawatts in 2017. Similarly, analysts from GlobalData published a report earlier this month which predicted the global microgrid market is set to reach $23 billion by 2021, an impressive turnaround from its current level of $12 billion.
Total Microgrid Power Capacity Market Share by Segment, World Markets: 2Q 2017
Navigant Research’s latest Tracker update broke down the microgrid market by sector as well, highlighting a notable shift in market share due to the large update to the C&I portfolio. C&I market share increased from 6% of the total to 16% from the fourth quarter of 2016, thanks to the addition of 2,140.4 MW. Remote projects, on their own, added 212.7 MW, increasing their total to 8,708.1 MW and 45% of the total share of microgrids — although that does represent a slight decrease from 51 from the latest Tracker update.
The utility distribution microgrid segment increased from 2,636.5 MW to 2,785.0 MW, but dropped in overall market share to 15%. Community and institutional/campus microgrids remain in fourth and fifth place respectively, with community projects amounting to 1,896.8 MW, and institutional/campus to 1,800.8 MW. The military segment remained steady at 5% wit 909.6 MW.