As the world surges towards decarbonization and decentralization, microgrids are standing out as a potential solution to some of the challenges facing everyone from governmental and regulatory authorities, to energy suppliers, grid operators and customers. In fact, microgrids are considered to be a secure, affordable, sustainable and low carbon option in many specific localized applications because by their nature, microgrids incorporate three key components; Generation, Storage and Demand all within a bounded and controlled network that may or may not be connected to the grid .
By their nature, microgrids support energy self-reliance and enable resilience against severe weather events, incorporate multiple distributed energy resources either traditional or renewable, and allow local communities to increasingly take control of their energy future.
For decision makers and planners in today’s energy sector, the energy revolution will include microgrids as a solution to deal with many economic and environmental factors, technological breakthroughs and legislation changes.
So, what are the trade-offs between several key priorities, such as cost effectiveness, supply resiliency, efficiency, decarbonization and commercial opportunity? Detailed technical and economic analysis are required as part of the scoping, design planning and operational maintenance of such systems. Though PLEXOS has typically been applied to the study of larger national or continental scale energy systems to date, it has more than enough modeling flexibility to be applied to systems at any scale, large or small.
We outline some of the typical characteristics of microgrids, list some example projects from around the world, and discusses the detailed technical and operational characteristics that can be integrated within the state of the art PLEXOS modeling tool to aid local energy system decision making and analytics.
“The Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative aims at accelerating clean energy transition by helping islands reduce their dependency on energy imports and making better use of locally available renewable energy sources. It will also promote modern and innovative energy systems and help islanders reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
- EUROPEAN COMMISSION