A new report from Navigant Research examines microgrid programs in specific U.S. states, providing recommendations for stakeholders globally and strategies for long-term success with or without direct government support. The report, Designing the Ideal Microgrid Program to Accelerate Global Deployment, details the history, status, and success of specific U.S. state programs in the hopes that policymakers can learn from what has worked—and what has not.
The U.S. is the world’s most active market in terms of government support for microgrids interconnected to traditional grid infrastructure. This support includes fragmented collections of regulations, standards, and public policies, as well as new laws and specific programs enacted after extreme weather events.
“Shifting from grants to market-based incentives, targeting funds toward new clean and smart technologies, choosing projects that foster new financing business models, creating metrics that capture the value of resiliency, and allowing for flexibility and midcourse corrections can help guide microgrid policy globally,” says Peter Asmus, research director with Navigant Research. “These recommendations have been molded by the experience and performance to date of the U.S. government and are adaptable to the unique factors in different regions and market segments.”
Since government support for microgrids tends to be steered toward applications that need financial support to be viable and that serve the public interest — rather than the private interests of commercial and industrial entities, for example — these recommendations remain focused on projects with similar needs and goals.
The states (and territory) covered include: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Puerto Rico. The report outlines a flexible and nimble strategy for the long-term success of microgrids through a diminished reliance upon direct government support. It also provides five recommendations for future microgrid government support, as well as advice for key market participants such as private sector vendors, utilities, and government regulators.
An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.