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Symposium on Microgrids

Exploring the role of renewable energy microgrids in accelerating sustainable energy access

About the Symposium

The Symposium took place on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

9 a.m. - 4:35 p.m.

James L. Allen Center
Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Thousands of microgrids are currently online around the world, suggesting their potential to become an economical, scalable, and reliable technology for improving energy access and resilience. When powered primarily by renewable energy sources, microgrids can also play a significant role providing sustainable energy access, particularly in developing economies, where human development needs are most critical and infrastructure investment is most difficult. However, due to actual and perceived economic and technical barriers, renewable energy microgrid installation in developing economies has so far been limited. 

This symposium engaged technology, policy, economic, and development experts assessed these barriers and discussed opportunities for overcoming them. We also explored the roles of knowledge sharing, technological innovation, and innovative financing to accelerate the deployment of renewable microgrids as a key enabler of sustainable development.

Keynote Speakers

Hear from keynote speakers uniquely situated to provide insights into the proliferation of microgrids as an energy source for sustainable development.

Chris Marnay

Chris Marnay

Principal, Microgrid Design of Mendocino LLC
Guest Scientist, China Energy Group
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Hannah Daly

Hannah Daly

Energy Analyst and Energy Access Lead,
International Energy Agency (IEA)

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Other Speakers & Panelists

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Learn more

Questions about the symposium can be directed to The Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) at:


This event was sponsored by:

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