Thursday, October 4, 2018
For the past five years in Silicon Valley and around the world, a small, but growing, number of rural towns, seaports, cities, homes, colleges, military bases, and businesses are becoming virtual power plants, which can seamlessly sidestep public electric utilities.
While global microgrid suppliers number about 100, microgrid costs are declining quickly; new technologies, such as better batteries, machine learning, and blockchain are coming into play; and global microgrid growth is trending up. Once seen as obstructers to hyper-local energy suppliers, some utilities are now building their own. California is fertile ground for microgrids with installations and projects at the Port of Los Angeles, a Santa Rosa winery, a Sunnyvale semiconductor manufacturing plant, Stanford University, and elsewhere.
Navigant Research estimates the global microgrid market will reach $30.9 billion by 2027. More people worldwide will access electric power through decentralized technologies than direct connection to the grid by the mid-2020s, according to Bloomberg NEF.
But the advent of microgrids poses challenges about cost, security, reliability, resilience, and power-generation connections. Will nascent microgrids increasingly challenge macrogrids by using blockchain-based distributed, digital ledgers that could proliferate trading electricity across industries with a public utility even knowing it? Or will new microgrid tariffs initiated recently in two states become popular and stifle innovation? And what is the risk of a fragmented system given microgrids today don’t operate using the same engineering standards?
How will our new world of energy play out?
Sally M. Benson, Ph.D., Director, Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University
Tom Chadwick, CEO, GI Energy
Asim Hussain, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience, Bloom Energy
Mark Perutz, Partner, DBL Partners
Moderator: Eric Wesoff, Consultant; former Editor-in-Chief, Greenwich Media
Registration and networking 10:30 a.m.
Program 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Lunch 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Ford Greenfield Labs
3251 Hillview Avenue
Palo Alto, CA
Having trouble registering?
Corporate and Individual Members:
Passes are accepted.