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Disrupting the utility infrastructure is a complicated, many-armed animal with very far-reaching implications. But, in the interest of merging sustainability goals with the need to offer consumers a cost effective option, micro-grids are becoming a practical solution. Some leaders are now combining forces for these products.

WITH 60% of the human population set to be living in urban areas by 2030 - and pressure on regional and national power grids continuing to grow - a number of cities are now turning towards localised energy production for new developments.

As the name suggests, “microgrids” are small-scale electrical networks that operate independently, or in tandem with, large-scale electrical supplies.

While many national and regional electrical grids are now powered in part by renewable energy, the majority still depend on nuclear and fossil fuels to deliver the bulk of their power.

Conversely, microgrids make heavy use of renewables such as photovoltaics and wind turbines to generate energy for use within a specific building or development.

This enables them to power their systems and operates without adding to the demands of the wider electrical network.

On-site energy production and storage can enable a new development to become self-sufficient and helps to fill in the gaps that can arise on overstretched electrical grids.

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