M2M making the smart grid billions

Posted: 14th August 2013

M2M has the potential to fundamentally change the way we manage our home energy. With smart grid technology, we can reduce our carbon footprint, while also saving money on our energy bills. As time goes on, more and more people seem to be catching on to the benefits of the smart grid.

This idea is backed up by a new report from Navigant Research, www.navigantresearch.com, which says the market for smart grid technology will grow to $73 billion in revenue by the end of 2020. Compared to the $33 billion market in 2012, this figure represents a compound annual growth rate of 10%.

Many expect the industry to continue to grow beyond 2020, as evidenced by the fact these numbers are achieved without significant activity in numerous nations with a population the eclipses 100 million. However, nearly no input was received from Africa, which has a population of 1 billion.

As one might imagine, a variety of factors are contributing to such an extensive increase. But the impact of those factors varies geographically. For instance, distribution automation processes may vary due to different design approaches. European grids rely less on feeder circuits than do North American grids, which results in a larger number of meters per substation. As such, distribution automation expenses can be decreased in Europe, as fewer circuits need to be upgraded.

Transmission upgrades also serve different purposes in different regions. North America has seen a considerable increase in the deployment of HVDC (high-voltage direct current) transmission lines, which bring renewable energy from distant plants to load centers. In contrast, HV (high-voltage) transmission build-outs in countries like China, India, Brazil, and Chile are often tasked with sending power from newly constructed generation fleets to new load centers.

The report says the smart grid market in North America is currently in a downswing, as stimulus-fund spending on AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) has decreased. Meanwhile, in Western Europe smart metering is key to meeting clean energy requirements, such as the 20-20-20 by 2020 mandate. This mandate hopes to reduce EU (European Union) greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, raise the share of EU energy consumption produced by renewable energy resources to 20%, and improve the EU’s overall energy efficiency by 20%.

In Eastern Europe, smart metering is also widely pursued as a prevention measure against energy theft. In addition, metering programs are being pursued in Great Britain, France, and Spain.

It’s certainly difficult to deny the momentum smart grid technology has, and continues to gain. Considering how much Navigant expects the industry to grow in less than a decade, this may truly be an instance where the sky is the limit.


Source: Connected World Mag. Read more here.

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