Microgrids for Disaster Management: An Ethical Risk Perspective



Publication Details

Munoz, A. (2019). Microgrids for Disaster Management: An Ethical Risk Perspective. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 38 (4), 70-74.


Microgrids are interconnected distributed energy generation and storage systems that can act as either an extension of the existing grid or operate independently of the grid, in so-called "island mode" [1]. As a power supply technology, microgrids are attractive as they can be more reliable than existing infrastructure and reduce societies? reliance on nonrenewable energy sources [1]. As a valid alternative to reliance on centralized electricity generation and grid distribution, microgrids have value that materializes when disasters render grids inoperable and microgrids remain as islands of service. It is these specific disaster conditions that reveal the latent value of microgrids as disaster management tools, whereas under nondisaster conditions, their value remains hidden. Microgrids can thus be leveraged to manage disaster relief efforts while remaining connected to donor sources and the broader humanitarian relief supply chain.

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