How to integrate diversified renewable energies into a commercial, industrial or institutional building
Changing the world one building at a time using nanogrids and microgrids
June 23, 2021
After the signature of the Paris Agreement in 2015, country leaders all around the world started programs to help decarbonize the energy industry and start the transition to renewable energies to keep global warming under two degrees.
The energy transition in Canada, and elsewhere, is inevitable and to stop this climate catastrophe we must find a way to stop and reverse global warming. To reach this goal, Canada, which is known as one of the highest energy-consuming countries, will need to cut ties with its dependence to fossil fuels and start to put its trust into renewable energies. With the carbon tax, the reliability of renewable energies and the government incentives, many companies are starting to turn towards a greener and cleaner energy coming from solar, geothermal, wind-powered and tidal energy.
Can the entire energy industry rely on renewable energies in Canada?
Some provinces can count on a natural advantage with hydroelectricity which is easily stocked, but others need to turn to less foreseeable resources like wind and solar which are ruled by Mother Nature’s agenda. In a digital world where a simple power outage can cost lives, vital data or enormous sums of money, we need to find a more resilient and reliable way to produce a large amount of energy without causing harm to the environment.
The best solution for a country like Canada, with its various landscapes, would be to rely on a mix of energy resources and combining them with storage systems and a multitude of smaller grids allowing us to be more resilient in case of a power outage or natural disaster.
Canada possesses more than enough energy resources to cut ties with fossil fuels once and for all, it’s time to take a leap.
How to integrate these new energy resources to commercial, institutional or industrial buildings?
The solution: microgrids or nanogrids (a smaller microgrid) linked to one or more renewable energy resources.
Microgrids or nanogrids, are a combination of energy resources, storage and smart control. Microgrids can be one or more adjacent buildings that rely on the same energy grid and they can help regulate the electrical fluctuations in the main grid by compensating. They can also isolate themselves from the main grid in an autonomous and resilient way.
Bear in mind that a grid can be literally anything from a house, a single building to a major industrial plant powered by an independent source of energy. Microgrids or nanogrids act simply like a diesel generator but draw their electricity from renewable energy resources. Apart from causing no air or water pollution, these grids from the future also help save large sums of money related to energy costs. Some grids are performing so well that the surplus of electricity can be sold back to the main grid.
Grids can also serve as storage for electricity, stocking energy like a large-scale battery. For companies that rely mainly on solar or wind power, they are a protection in case of a power outage.
Image 1 - In case of a power outage from the main grid, the nanogrid or microgrid can “island” and allow its priority activities to continue. It can even help neighbouring buildings or grids.
Renewable energies are great, but how much would this cost?
The good news is that renewable energies are trending, and the implementation of these new technologies is accelerating almost at the same rate that their price is crashing. Only between 2010 and 2015 in Canada, the cost of a wind turbine dropped 30% and the costs related to the installation of solar panels fell 66%.
Furthermore, all Canadian provinces offer very appealing incentives for companies that are looking to make a leap in the direction of green energies, sometimes up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if the initial cost can seem imposing, a project made with vadiMAP can lead to significative savings with a payback period of a few years. Prices will change depending on the company size and needs.
Even with a very small decrease of the total CO2 emission from Canada, the country is still ranking high as an issuing country and is far from reaching its environmental objectives. Companies must increase their effort concerning climate change in Canada. With the number of available incentives throughout the provinces and territories, it’s easier than ever to kick-start the energy shift of your business to renewable energies. Whether it be on a financial level or environmental, if you are interested in integrating renewable energies into your commercial, institutional or industrial building, take a look at the vadiMAP offer to start your project!