This research report presents an in-depth analysis of the development, applications, products, manufacturers, and trends in the worldwide development of the Smart Grid. After over one hundred years of electric power, it has become apparent that a new type of power grid is needed to serve societal needs in the 21st Century. Over time, a relatively primitive but reliable power grid has morphed into an exceedingly complex machine that can no longer be controlled through human actions alone and one which has become brittle and subject to catastrophic failure – such as the blackout in the northeastern United States and Canada in 2003. Simply put, today’s power grid is having difficulty meeting the high quality, stable, and reliable power requirements of an increasingly sophisticated, technology-oriented world. The power grid is also in need of significant maintenance and repair, with estimates ranging as high as $1 trillion over the next 20 years for the United States alone. However, “smart/intelligent” technologies now exist that can significantly improve grid performance. With these technologies a “smarter” grid will be able provide improved service reliability and more stable electric rates at a lower cost than simply building more infrastructure to meet increased demand.
The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current market for smart grid enabling technologies and projects future market size through 2031. Marketing concerns including energy demand, environmental impacts, economic conditions, consumer acceptance, stakeholder concerns, and government activities are discussed in terms of their impact on market growth for the Smart Grid and its enabling technologies. The report also profiles selected companies that manufacture and market technologies that enable the Smart Grid and the strategies they have adopted to maximize growth and profitability.
Smart Grid development is moving into a “normal” period of growth following substantial activity as the results of government stimulus funding. As this funding runs its course, utilities and other stakeholders are having a harder time will new development efforts as a result of economic conditions, regulatory uncertainty, consumer acceptance, and other factors that constrain their ability to fund many Smart Grid projects. These and other considerations are addressed in the report as they pertain to inhibiting or advancing development of the Smart Grid.
Scope and Methodology
The information in the report is based on primary and secondary research from the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, various other agencies of the United States Government, energy-related associations in the United States, Europe, Australia, and other countries, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations, the World Bank, trade associations, business journals, company literature and websites, and interviews with experts in Smart Grid development including energy transmission and distribution, energy generation and storage, and microgrid development. Statistical data are included for industry revenue, both globally and for the United States. The market size for Smart Grid technologies is projected from 2011 to 2031. Demand in each of the following technology applications is analyzed in terms of both regional and overall markets for Smart Grid development:
Smart Sensors and Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs)
Information Technology and Analytics
Transmission, Distribution, and Substation Automation
Potential Smart Grid applications, development trends, environmental issues, and energy considerations are also reviewed and analyzed. Market size estimates and forecasts are based on government and primary and secondary sources, and the impact of various other factors including government grants and incentives, environmental concerns, fuel and energy prices, economic conditions, and consumer awareness and acceptance.
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