If I wanted to paint a picture of a trend or topic that has a relatively low media rating, but upon closer inspection shows amazing potential through a media measurement lens, a good candidate would be solar microgrids.

If you were to survey the average consumer, even a tech-focused consumer, (solar) microgrids would not register very high on the awareness meter.  For individuals working in the energy sector, the concept and application of microgrids (solar, hydro, wind, etc.) are pretty straightforward and frequently referenced as an evolutionary step in our “macro” grid world – the one you and I depend upon every day.

But in the media, solar microgrids garner a lowly 27 media rating.  The topic is also ranked #60 out of 61 topics in the Energy Trend Sector.

Lets just say, if you were to pick an obscure topic, solar microgrids would be a good choice.  This month, the topic is at the low-end of the rating scale, off -4 points o -14% this month at 27.

But back to the main story.  What can a media lens tell us about this topic and where it may be heading?

Microgrids are one of those topics with high trade coverage but low consumer recognition.  It just hasn’t crossed over to mainstream media.  Without mainstream media coverage the likelihood of social media amplification is near zero.

Media interest has been building in the right direction, but advocates and microgrid vendors have not made a good consumer case in the media.    Today, media stories are focused on R&D and applications in parts of the world where the broader energy grid infrastructure is weak and microgrids may be good substitute for local communities (where talking Africa and India for the most part).

What a media lens tells us is the topic is gaining momentum, clearly building a media presence within its peer sector (Energy Trends) and is poised for a media momentum trigger.  How and when that trigger occurs is beyond a measurement lens.  Renewed government backing, an energy crisis event or other major consumer impact event may help elevate the microgrid story.  But today the topic is carving out a rising rating position in the Energy Trend Sector.