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Smart grid tech tasks are “enormous” as market will total $494bn up to 2020, says report

There is no single “smart grid solution” that will work for all utilities as market expected to grow 73bn annually to end of decade

The Pike Research report says many complex smart grid programs are underway, but the scale of what remains to be done is enormous

The smart grid technology market will total USD 494bn in cumulative revenue up to 2020, but the scale of what needs to be done is “enormous”, claims a new report. The report from Pike Research, part of Navigant’s Energy Practice in the US, has said the market for smart grid technologies will grow from USD 33bn annually (2012) to USD 73bn by the end of 2020, totalling USD 494bn in cumulative revenue over that period. But the scale of the work that needs to be achieved during that time is an enormous task.

The report, “Smart Grid Technologies”, examines the market dynamics and most important technology issues for smart grid technologies for the period from 2012 through 2020. It profiles the key players in smart grid technologies, in eight categories: influential utilities, control system vendors, telecommunications vendors, smart metering vendors, application and services vendors, systems integrators, cyber security vendors, and standards associations. Analysis and forecasts are presented year-by-year in the report and cumulatively through to 2020, dissecting the market by smart grid application and by region, with further technology segmentation within each application. 

Pike Research said: “The creation of the smart grid remains a colossal undertaking.  Many complex smart grid programs are underway, but the scale of what remains to be done is enormous. The challenges ahead translate into strong growth for vendors of smart grid technologies – transmission upgrades, automation of substations and distribution, smart grid IT, and smart meters.” 

There is no single “smart grid solution” that will work for all utilities, according to the report. Utilities are likely to take individual approaches to smart grids, some starting with smart metering while others begin with transmission upgrades. However, the number of smart meter deployments (estimated at a total of 832 million smart meters during the 2011-2020 timeframe) implies that quite a few utilities have yet to set out on an advanced metering infrastructure course but are likely to do so over the coming seven years.

Bob Lockhart, senior research analyst, said: “The overlay of modern smart grid technologies onto existing grids promises numerous benefits to utilities, including increased reliability and capacity, reduced energy losses, and deferring or eliminating the need for new generation resources. These benefits reach far beyond the business of any particular utility to underlie economic growth, social well-being, and the shift to energy sources that are less damaging to the environment.”

The news from Pike Research follows other reports the organisation have published, which show major developments across renewable energy. This includes a report that states more than 450 geothermal projects around the world are now under development in February this year.