Solar PV Microgrids

14 JAN 2019
As mentioned in our post on Microgrids battery powered back-ups for solar photo voltaics is a rapidly emerging technology.

Now Greece and Tesla are in talks to bring electricity to many of the Mediterranean's remote islands. Reported in Capital the article highlights (in Greek) that: -

"Today, the Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr. George Stathakis, met with Tesla executives in order to exchange views on the strategy of fossil fuel dependence on the islands of the country, especially those not connected in the next years with the mainland power grid. The National Energy and Climate Plan provides for a gradual abandonment of oil burning units and a switch to Renewable Energy Sources (RES). However, the intermittent character of photovoltaic or wind power generation creates significant energy storage and distribution demands for modern electrical grid management technologies."

Reports say that the first Greek island to benefit from their cooperation is Limnos in the Aegean Sea. South Australia has already installed a grid connected back-up battery that is on track to return a third of its cost back in cost savings with its first year. Now to be clear the South Australian battery pack is a buffer mechanism that smooths out the loads on a grid network but the premise for microgrids is greater.

Africa solar generation with battery back-up is a solution to a problem that would be uneconomic otherwise. Remote communities lack access to national grids and can best be brought online with distributed power generation and back-up. And there is another benefit. Governance.

Large capital expenditure in emerging economies often attracts graft and corrupt practices. When the approval of centralised systems are at the whim of politicians removed from the beneficiaries and customers bribes and poorly allocated capital are often sadly the result. Local microgrids in contrast are local - local demand, local resources, local money, and local deployment. This engages the beneficiaries directly, who often have a personal stake in both the costs and the return of the investment in the microgrid. The oversight of stakeholders is key in reducing corruption whilst providing services that raise living standards. This is in stark contrast to China's Belt and Road initiative that often results in increased corruption.

Microgrids have much to commend them and we foresee a huge upside for investors, manufacturers, and communities that develop such systems.
By Adaptiv Earth