April – Are Microgrids Still a Thing? Part 1

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Written by Danny Espín-Sarzosa, Rodrigo Palma-Behnke, Marcia Montedonico, and Felipe Valencia-Arroyave

The effects of climate change are forcing countries around the world to change their priorities and mitigation strategies. Such effects can have devastating consequences for human health, biodiversity, and the economy. Additionally, climate change exacerbates existing socioeconomic inequalities, as vulnerable populations are often the most affected and have the least resources to adapt to climate change. Thus, there is a need for resilient and robust decentralized systems that can be self-sufficient (i.e. local territories that can provide water, food, and energy). Robust energy systems are secure, equitable, and environmentally sustainable, showing a carefully managed balance between the three dimensions. In this context, Small Productive Processes (SPPs) can contribute to the self-sufficiency and socioeconomic development of communities. They may become even more critical in helping build resilience and adaptability in vulnerable communities.

Written by Jose Luis Domínguez-García, Antonio Pepiciello, Pol Paradell, and Anzhelika Ivanova

Microgrids will have a crucial role in enhancing power system resilience as they can supply the load locally, through distributed energy resources, when the connection to the main grid is not available. In this article, we introduce the concept of dynamic microgrids, time-variant networks of microgrids forming the main power grid, to lower the risks of load shedding and fault propagation. Furthermore, we describe an intentional islanding procedure enabled by smart grid technologies and based on a two-step process: the identification of balanced microgrids connected to the grid and their optimal disconnection to minimize global load shedding. The expected benefits of implementing dynamic microgrids are a significant reduction of the expected loss of load, strong mitigation of the consequences of high-impact low-probability events, and stability enhancement through the limitation of fault propagation.

Written by Vikas Khare, and Pradyumn Chaturvedi

In the present scenario, microgrid systems play a very vital role to enhance the performance of electricity generation. A microgrid is a small-scale electricity generation structure that can work independently or collaboratively with different types of renewable energy sources. Nowadays, analyses of microgrid systems are carried out through different types of emerging technologies, which also increase the performance of the microgrid system. Circular economy and blockchain are the icebreaking technologies which can be used for technical and financial assessment of the microgrid system. Microgrid systems, which are decentralized energy systems that can operate independently or in parallel with the main grid, can offer significant benefits to the environment and the economy. When combined with circular economy principles and blockchain technology, microgrid systems can provide even more opportunities for sustainability and efficiency.

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