Monday, November 13, 2023
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Data-Driven Decentralization: Empowering Communities through Microgrids
Session ID
A2 - Lightning: Improving Community Resilience through Sustainability + Adaptation
Climate Change

Microgrids are a potentially transformative technology that challenges the traditional centralized energy model, providing new opportunities for community empowerment and energy independence. By integrating distributed renewable energy sources, energy storage, and advanced control systems, microgrids are changing the way we produce, distribute, and consume energy. Potential benefits of decentralized energy systems include load flexibility, increased resilience in the event of grid failure, reduced carbon emissions as the microgrid can use solar or other clean energy sources, lower energy costs through improved efficiency, improved energy access, and enhanced community engagement and control. Decentralized energy systems have the potential to collect data at the community or household level, enabling load balancing among users and developing community-specific plans. However, the lack of continuous data across communities and potential mistrust in sharing data, particularly within disadvantaged or marginalized communities, remains a key barrier. Examples from case studies from California’s Advanced Energy Community (AEC) microgrid pilot projects demonstrate the importance of accurate and timely energy consumption data in community microgrid development. While microgrids have the potential to transform the energy landscape, providing communities with greater control over their energy systems, significant challenges remain, particularly related to data.

Supporting Document 1