Several of the heavily populated countries in the Asia Pacific region, including Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia, are experiencing high rates of rural electrification. Meeting the increased demand for power across the region will require innovative approaches, especially for regions remote from the existing power grid. These include microgrids that are capable of operating in isolation the centralized power grid. For example, in Bangladesh the Globle Environment Facility (GEF) is helping to speed the rural electrification process by working with the Government of Bangladesh, the World Bank, and Bangladesh’s Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) to increase the spread of off-grid, renewable energy technologies, such as solar home systems (SHS) in rural areas where people live too far from the main electrical grids.
India’s new government, led by Prime Minister Modi, plans to use solar power to bring electricity to the 400 million people who currently do not have access to it. The government intends to aggressively implement the National Solar Mission that aims to install 20,000 MW of grid-connected solar power capacity and 2,000 MW of distributed solar power capacity by 2022.
A recent Navigant Research report analyzes the Asia Pacific market for microgrids in four key segments (commercial/industrial, community/utility, campus/institutional, and remote) for nine countries (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines).
In emerging countries such as India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh electricity access through a centralized grid is not feasible in the immediate future for many. For example, in India many of the 400 million people who do not have access to electric power and cannot expect it in the near future because they are remote from the Indian power grid. Microgrids, often including renewable energy sources, are a proven way to rapidly provide power to many of these people. Navigant expects that "remote microgrids" will show strong growth in emerging countries through 2023.
In addition developed nations, such as Australia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, will pursue technology development and pilot projects in the next few years and then will deploy diverse applications, especially in the commercial/industrial, campus/institutional, and community/utility microgrid segments. Navigant Research forecasts that annual grid-tied and remote microgrid capacity in the nine select Asia Pacific countries will grow from 37.0 MW in 2013 to 597.3 MW in 2023. The microgrid market in Asia Pacific is projected to grow from $778 million in 2014 to nearly $5.8 billion in 2023.