While Europe is often held up as a global leader in moving toward a low-carbon energy future, the tightly regulated European Union (EU) markets have several features which severely limit development of microgrids:
· The focus has been on large-scale renewable energy development such as offshore wind, which requires massive investment in transmission infrastructure.
· Deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) such as rooftop solar PV has primarily been based on feed-in tariffs (FIT), a business model precluding the key defining feature of a microgrid – the ability to seal off resources from the larger grid via islanding.
· EU markets are tightly interwoven and methods to address the variability of renewables such as wind and solar lean toward cross-border trading, not localized microgrids.
As the forthcoming update to the Microgrid Deployment Tracker demonstrates, Europe represents approximately 9% of the global microgrid market. The vast majority of microgrids deployed in Europe are on actually islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain or projects such as Bornholm or the Faroe Islands of Denmark.Read More