Millions of the world's poorest lack power. Microgrids could be a clean-energy solution.
" Worldwide, one and a half billion people lack electricity, most of them rural dwellers. (In India, for example, 268 million people are without electricity in rural areas, but only 21 million in cities.) The International Energy Agency says the type of power plant installed at Batu Laut, known as a hybrid microgrid, will be essential to bringing power to many of them. That's because connecting a remote community to the conventional power grid, with its large, centralized plants, is expensive and can take more than a decade. In some cases, geography and economics may never permit access to the grid. Hybrid microgrids can provide dependable electricity by intelligently combining power from multiple local sources, and building them is far cheaper and faster than extending the grid to the areas where most of the people without electricity live. "