​Extreme weather events have put pressure on existing grids, most notably in California, Louisiana and Texas. This has driven a nationwide surge of interest in reliable, affordable, and resilient energy.

One solution to help mitigate the effects of climate change-driven extreme weather comes in the form of microgrids. These small, self-contained power grids can use multiple sources of renewable energy and run while disconnected from the traditional electric grid. Many newer microgrids contain energy storage, typically from batteries, with some even having electric vehicle charging stations.

As the US sets aggressive decarbonisation goals a new report, The Renewable Energy Economic Benefits of Microgrids from Guidehouse Insights, estimates that renewable energy powered by US microgrids will grow three-fold to 32.8GW installed capacity by 2030, creating almost 500,000 jobs.

According to the report, which looks at the economic impact of six different renewable microgrid technologies, they can help to alleviate grid congestion, thereby lowering electricity prices and reducing peak power requirements.

At present the US remains reliant on imported battery and solar components made in China. The government will need to implement policies to increase domestic market share if they are to maximise the benefit of future microgrids.