A micro-grid is an advance electrical network that integrates solar and storage technology to provide and transmit electricity to all of the connected business and consumers. Why haven’t we heard more about micro-grids? Well, when electricity was first introduced in the U.S. in the 1900s, we began laying down and connecting micro-grids. However, the continental U.S. does not currently have a national grid. Instead, we have three grids: the Eastern, the Western, and the Texas Interconnect.

Today, African villages are implementing this micro-grid system to bring electricity, power, and light to their communities. However, their biggest problem is to develop a plan to expand their grids to 1.2 billion people during the next decade. 

Why does Africa’s micro-grid expansion matter to the U.S.? Micro-grids are a key indication of energy trends. As more and more companies and campuses are reporting sensitive operations that need a continuous flow of power, micro-grids become the solution!

Renewable energy companies, noticing this growth of the micro-grid market, are developing new ways to combine their wind and solar power systems with grid technology. These traditionally off-grid power sources are being developed to be semi-mobilized, so they can be moved between micro-grids depending on need. What could this mean for you? We often take power and electricity for granted. Instead, we focus on the efficiency of our lighting techniques. But, with the integration of micro-grids, your electricity could be provided though more efficient micro-grids and supplied by eco-friendly renewable sources! 

Hilling, Thomas. Measures to stimulate the micro-grid market. Renewable Energy Focus. Available at: http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/43844/measures-to-stimulate-the-micro-grid-market/ 

Sanches, Dana. What Africa Can Teach The U.S. About Energy Microgrids. AFK Insider. Available from: http://afkinsider.com/121135/what-africa-can-teach-the-u-s-about-energy-a-back-to-the-future-moment/