BOULDER, Colo. --- The United States Department of Defense (DOD) has a strong interest in improving energy security through microgrid technology, stemming from its heavy reliance upon all forms of fossil fuels—often imported from regions of the world hostile to U.S. interests.
Indeed, the DOD’s efforts may be the strongest driver for the overall microgrid market today, especially in terms of control technology for these smart grid networks based on a bottoms-up distributed model for the U.S. military’s operational and tactical deployments of microgrid technology.
According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the total capacity of DOD microgrids will surpass 600 megawatts (MW) by 2018, a 50 percent increase over 2012.
“In addition to reducing the amount of fossil fuels consumed to create electricity, by networking generators as a system to maximize efficiency, microgrids have a number of other benefits of value to the military,” says senior research analyst Peter Asmus. “They can also be used to help integrate renewable energy resources (such as wind and solar) at the local distribution grid level. Simultaneously, microgrids enable military bases – both stationary and forward operating bases – to sustain operations, no matter what is happening on the larger utility grid or in the theater of war.”
Many Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and other military-related facilities already have legacy microgrids in place. What is new is that these facilities are looking to envelop entire bases with microgrids and integrate renewable distributed energy generation (RDEG) onsite. When capable of safe islanding from the surrounding grid, RDEG offers the ultimate energy security, since there is no need to transport fuel to generate power.
The report, “Military Microgrids”, examines the growth microgrids for three Department of Defense microgrid sectors: stationary bases, forward operating bases, and mobile systems. Along with forecasts through 2018 for each of the three primary sectors, the report also includes forecasts for stationary renewable integration and demand response microgrids, as well as solar photovoltaic systems deployed by the DOD. In addition, key industry players in systems integration, microgrid systems control and integration, and microgrid components are profiled. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.
Pike Research, which joined Navigant’s global Energy Practice on July 1, 2012, provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors.
Navigant (NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities.