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IT to gain from world smart grid roll-out

The IT industry could be the winner of the global US$34 billion smart grid market, according to Lux Research.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

The roll-out of smart meters around the world not only promises an era of more efficient grid management, but it also spells out a 900% increase in the quantity of data that utilities will need to communicate, says Lux Research.

Investments in technology to process this flood of data could drive the global smart grid market from US$12.8bn today, to US$34.2bn in 2020.

“Many people think ‘smart meters’ when you talk about the smart grid, because meters will generate most of the new data. But the volume of data generated isn’t the only factor fuelling growth in the smart grid market,” says Steve Minnihan, Researcher at Lux Research and the report’s lead author.

“Intelligent distribution applications, for example, can isolate an electrical fault and restore power in a matter of seconds. While such applications generate less data than smart meters, their data carries a far greater value.”

The main findings of The Data Revolution: How Intelligent Hardware Will Drive the $24 Billion Smart Grid, include:

Lead by China, Asia will generate the most growth in smart grid data

With a current market potential of 183 million residential meters, China’s residential market is already 38% larger than that of North America.

Additionally, given that China’s urban population has grown 2.7% annually between 2005 and 2010, its residential meter market will see increasing growth potential over the next decade.

Intelligent distribution, not smart meters, is the application to watch

The growing smart meter market will plateau at US$4bn mid-decade and begin declining in 2018 as the largest markets approach saturation.

Intelligent distribution hardware, conversely, will see continued expansion throughout the decade, fuelled by adoption in China and North America.

Telecom and IT incumbents will ride a wave of growing opportunities

Growing demand for logistics and analysis hardware will lead utilities to adopt technologies developed by the telecommunication and information technology industries.

As a result, incumbents like Cisco, General Electric, and Oracle have an explosive growth opportunity in smart grid.

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