Global smart grid market to more than double by 2020

The global market for smart grid technologies is poised to deliver stellar growth over the next seven years, according to a report from analyst firm Navigant Research.

The report argues that the global smart grid market, which includes the markets for smart meters and appliances as well as smart infrastructure technologies, is already well established and was worth more than $33 billion globally last year.

But it predicts that there is plenty of room in the market for "robust growth" during the rest of the decade, given that a significant number of large markets with populations of over 100 million people are yet to deploy the technology.

As such, Navigant predicted the market for smart grid technologies will reach $73 billion in annual revenues by 2020, totaling $461 billion in cumulative revenue between 2013 and 2020.

Bob Lockhart, research director with Navigant Research, said demand was being driven by the compelling value proposition offered by smart grid technologies that promise to reduce costs for both utilities and their customers.

"Smart grid technologies improve the reliability and efficiency of the power grid via the application of modern IT capabilities alongside or in place of existing utility assets and networks," he said in a statement.

But he also warned that the sector may have to improve its communications efforts if it is to break into markets that are yet to engage with the technology. "The term 'smart grid' has been overused to the point of losing its meaning," he added. "A more precise definition includes five key applications: transmission upgrades, substation automation, distribution automation, smart grid information and operations technology, and smart metering."

The report predicts that in terms of investment transmission upgrades will dominate the market, driving nearly $250 million of infrastructure spending through to 2020 and accounting for more than half the total smart grid market.

This story originally appeared at BusinessGreen and is reprinted with permission.

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