Here is an excerpt from an excellent article in Bloomberg:
Microgrids are emerging as a credible threat to the dominance of America’s 100-year-old-plus utility monopoly. The small-scale versions of centralized power systems, once just used against blackouts, are now gaining thousands of customers as homeowners in states with high power costs turn to them as a way to manage rooftop solar systems, cut electricity bills and, in some cases, say goodbye to their power companies.
This is exactly what we need to move toward distributed energy generation.These systems can be controlled by software and measure all energy flow to optimize energy sources such as solar panels and backup generators. They allow a home or business owner,from small to large scale to generate, distribute and regulate their own produced power. If you want to find out how you can be part of this new paradigm try supporting my project one-fridge-off-the-grid.
Navigant Research, a clean-technology data and consulting company, is predicting a global business volume of $40 billion/year by 2020. This means in terms of energy about 6 gigawatts of electricity – enough to power 4.8 million homes!
Microgrids have the potential to radically change the U.S. electricity paradigm as they proliferate and begin to eat into the utility revenue stream. For example, U.C. San Diego saves an estimated $850,000 a month on its electricity bill by self-generating and using its microgrid to fine-tune campus power consumption.