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Global microgrid sales revenue will be at least US$19.9 billion by 2020, according to a new report by Navigant Research.

The sector generated revenue of US$4.3 billion in 2013 and is expected to continue it’s recent growth.

“Microgrids are inching their way into the mainstream, with the focus of the market shifting from technology validation to questions surrounding the most promising business models,” said Peter Asmus, principal research analyst, Navigant Research.

“The number of companies active in the space, and the range of applications of microgrids, are growing exponentially, yet there is little consensus on the pace of development in the coming years,” he added.

The report predicts that Asia-Pacific will emerge as the global leader for microgrids in 2030 but North America will continue to lead in the short term. Navigant describes Europe as a microgrid "laggard". Bangladesh claims to be one of the leading countries for off-grid solar at present.

Navigant also presents a scenario with a more aggressive uptake of microgrid technology that would see revenue in 2020 reach US$36.2 billion.

Microgrids are gaining traction in rural locations. In Australia 53% of the solar power capacity installed in the last three years has been in rural areas.

John Grimes, CEO of the Australian Solar Council told PV Tech last year that the country's knowledge base in this area had the potential for export.

“Having grid infrastructure to remote communities is not always feasible so we have built up a store of knowledge in remote, rural and off-grid applications combined with battery storage technology; the skill we have there is very translatable to many parts of the developing world,” he said.