Commercial and industrial facilities depend on reliable and affordable electricity for efficient operations. Instabilities in the grid, like power outages and unexpected voltage fluctuations force commercial and industrial businesses to rely on backup power solutions (usually fossil fuel based, increasing their costs and harming the environment). But now the advent of modern microgrids offers businesses improved options with real potential.
Why are modern microgrids gaining such popularity in commercial and industrial applications across the world? There are a few reasons. [Disclaimer: this post has been generously sponsored by ABB and is part of an on-going collaboration on Microgrids.]
In the regions of Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, between 57% and 80% of companies experience power cuts. Those impacted businesses have outages averaging from 570 hours (Sub-Saharan Africa) to 1,832 hours (Middle East and North Africa) per year, causing losses of 8% to 10% when measured against annual sales. That puts those businesses and their economies at a severe disadvantage. Those are the regions that are most affected by outages, but unreliable grids are commonplace in most non-OECD countries.
A second problem businesses are facing is that they’d like to increase the share of renewables in their energy mix, but grid operators don’t readily provide these options in many regions. On-site generation through microgrids is often most effective. Reference projects show a reduction of fuel costs by 30% through increasing the share of renewables, and with lower battery prices and the decreasing cost of installing renewables we can expect even greater reductions in the future.
There are a lot of positive microgrid projects being built right now, but it could be many more.
ABB is hosting a webinar on the 16th of November that will focus on how C&I businesses can profit from microgrids by reducing their electricity costs, especially reducing how much they suffer from outages. We encourage site managers, renewable experts, energy leaders, and other professionals in the C&I space to join the webinar and learn more about what microgrids have to offer. Most C&I businesses would now find it profitable to have some on-site generation with a focus on renewables, and integrating or planning to integrate battery storage.
Payback times on microgrid investments are still often very much overestimated by operators who aren’t aware of the sharp decline in costs that we’ve seen. From 2015 to 2017 alone, global PV prices in commercial utility scale dropped (on average) from $1.9 kWp to $1.3 kWp. This 32% drop in prices has a very beneficial impact on financial returns.
“In this webinar you will learn how ABB microgrid solutions help C&I customers by providing a reliable, stable and affordable power with renewables and energy storage technology.”
The presenter of the webinar is Pablo Astorga, ABB Global Marketing Manager & Regional Sales Manager Europe, Microgrids & Distributed Generation.
Read more on Microgrids:
- In Africa, Microgrids Are Changing People’s Lives
- The Promise & Perils Of Renewable Energy & Microgrids For Puerto Rico
- Installed Energy Storage For Microgrids Through 2026 Worth Over $22 Billion
- Mining Sector Embracing Microgrids: Hybrid Systems Reduce Energy Costs & Environmental Impact
- Global Microgrid Market Set To Reach $23 Billion By 2021
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