In a region where power demand is soaring, microgrids can increase renewable energy adoption and cut reliance on diesel. The most immediate impact, however, could be the ability to hear birdsong again.
Microgrids—localised power grids that can be synced with the main grid, or be independent of it—have been touted as a way to increase renewable energy adoption, especially in regions such as Southeast Asia where power demand is soaring.
They are also a solution for communities without access to electricity or at the mercy of brownouts. The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that 65 million people in Southeast Asia are without adequate or reliable access to electricity.
With the cost of components such as batteries and solar panels dropping, and the price of electricity generated by renewables equal or cheaper than generated by fossil fuels in recent years, microgrid projects are growing.
Once a microgrid is in place, the most immediate impact is the quietness of the surroundings. Diesel generators that would otherwise be running 24 hours a day are instead quiet for 12 to 18 hours.
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