Minigrids and microgrids

Distributed energy resources are a way of increasing energy efficiency and improving grid resilience. Instead of being transported over long distances, electricity is produced close to where it is used

Key technology to increase energy resilience and efficiency

Traditionally,  a large, centralized power generation plant produces electricity which is then transported by  a transmission and distribution network to the end-user. This is a one-way delivery system from generation to usage.This model is now increasingly complemented by bi-directional small distributed energy resources (DER) which are situated very close to the end-user. DERs often combine renewable energy installations such as rooftop solar modules, small wind turbines or small-hydro with a battery or a generator to form a microgrid or a minigrid. Microgrids are used by small residential or commercial consumers; minigrids are larger configurations, which can power large commercial outlets, universities, factories  ane even islands.
Microgrids or minigrids can:
  • complement the conventional  power grid when electricity demand is high.
  • maintain supply during a grid-outage and/or restore electricity supply faster.
  • help remote communities gain access to a more reliable supply of sustainable electricity.
IEC Technical Committee (TC) 8 publishes several documents which specify the design and management of microgrids.
As part of its technical specifications (TS) for small renewable hybrid systems for rural electrification, IEC TC 82 also makes recommendations for microgrids.
Such standards and specifications serve as the basis for testing and certification of components, devices, and systems. IEC runs four Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems which verify whether a product or device is built to the requirements in IEC Standards.

Smart grids

Smart grid technologies allow the grid to become more flexible, interactive and enable it to provide real-time feedback.

Transmission and distribution technology

Transmitting and distributing electric power more efficiently and supplying it from renewable sources are ways of ensuring electricity requirements will continue to be met.


While they are often seen as a means of encouraging the take up of renewable energy and addressing challenges of peak demand, microgrids can make a significant contribution to disaster preparedness and recovery.
More information

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