NEF has released an analysis of the potential
for off-grid photovoltaic power generation and micro-grids with regards to helping
1 billion people currently without clean energy meeting their needs.
report believes that there are five key factors which indicate that off-grid PV
will play a key role in providing universal energy supply. The most import of
these factors being the cost of grid expansion. The analysis estimates the cost
of establishing connection for each family can range anywhere from $226USD to
is calculated that the energy cost for household photovoltaic systems will be
about $1.5USD/kWh, and $0.29-$0.77USD/kWh if it comes from the microgrid. The
report goes on to state that the electricity bill for the new connection will
be $1/kWh, which is higher than the energy cost of deploying the microgrid
to the analysts, by 2030, the market size of household photovoltaic systems and
microgrids will reach $64 Billion USD. Consequently, approximately 15% of the
population without electricity resides in urban areas. Therefore, public
utility companies should place focus on extending the grid to these problem
by mid-2020, distributed technology will have built supply chains and provided
cheaper components. Additionally, there will be far fewer economically viable
areas for grid expansion and microgrids to compete over.
believes, based on these assumptions, 238 million households will receive
energy by 2030, and 72 million of which will use photovoltaic systems while 34
million will receive their energy from the microgrid.
predict that the general electricity supply market will reach $353 billion USD,
only half of what the International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated on
multiple occasions. However, Bloomberg stressed that the IEA believes that
microgrids will play a pivotal role in achieving universal energy supply.
According to analysts, the IEA does estimate that the system cost will be
higher than the cost that the market has already experienced.
oil corporations such as Shell have in-house teams building microgrids and selling
large-scale consumer photovoltaic systems. According
to reports, 6 of the 20 largest oil and energy companies have already committed
to providing energy services to 52 million people by 2020. Analysts emphasize
that these efforts are not based on their philanthropic philosophy, but on
their rigorous business development plans for emerging markets.
According to the report, the transition from
centralized power generation to distributed off-grid systems will have profound
impacts on the deployment, improvement and maintenance of power systems. This
type of drastic change will leave a void which will need to be filled by
entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the way of energy retailing and distribution can
also be completely remodelled and optimized. For example, based on
calculations, increasing the daytime load of agricultural activities (such as
irrigation and refrigeration) can reduced the microgrid energy cost by about