Smart grid initiatives are transforming the metering industry
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) June 17, 2009
Energy directives and billions of dollars in smart grid funding are driving hundreds of smart metering initiatives around the world. Over the next five years, $21 billion will be spent on smart metering infrastructure, according to a recent report by ON World.
"Smart grid initiatives are transforming the metering industry," says Mareca Hatler, ON World's research director. "Open architectures, increased regulation, and evolving standards are challenging the status quo and resulting in new alliances that would have been unheard of just a few years ago."
ON World's Benefit to Cost evaluation found that the inclusion of advanced demand response applications such as dynamic pricing can increase the benefits by at least 35%. By providing consumers with real-time energy information, they can participate in managing their own energy expenditures as well as feeding micro generated energy sources such as solar and wind back to the grid. Similar findings have led dozens of utilities in the US, Australia and Europe to include plans for demand response as part of their smart metering rollouts.
ON World has identified several technology trends that are enabling the smart grid:
Metering infrastructure investment has resulted in large scale open standards efforts such as the US Smart Grid Interoperability Framework project, the European Commission's smart grid standards, and the IEEEP2030 smart grid standard.
Migration to IP
The emphasis on open architectures has resulted in Internet Protocol (IP) gaining prominence, pushed by smart grid initiatives from Cisco, GE, and Google. Duke recently announced it was working with Cisco on an end-to-end smart grid communications architecture based on IP. The latest trend is IP addressability to the endpoint, as demonstrated by Silver Spring Networks' smart meter system that is being rolled out in more than 12 million IP addressable meters in the US and Australia.
ON World's study found that WiMAX is a potentially disruptive technology for smart meter networks with its high scalability, large bandwidth, IP addressability and potential for service bundle opportunities. ON World's software simulations show that WiMAX is capable of providing 100% completed transmissions in large scale networks of 100,000+ nodes per base station. GE Energy's yet-to-be launched WiMAX based smart metering system is being trialed by several utilities in the US as well as Energy Australia and SPAusNet in Australia.
Home Area Networks
With accelerated deployments from the recent smart grid funding, there could be more than 100 million new smart meters installed worldwide over the next five years. Almost half of these will have a Home Area Network (HAN) gateway for in-home energy management programs and services. ON World's survey with 77 utilities in the United States found that 21% are planning a HAN gateway for every smart meter.
ZigBee Smart Energy
ZigBee, the most popular HAN technology, is currently being rolled out in over 30 million smart meters in North America and Australia. ZigBee offers robust security and low power wireless networking and its Smart Energy profile was recently selected as one of the standards to be included in the US Smart Grid Interoperability Framework.
Based on 150 interviews with utility project managers, vendors, suppliers and government agencies, this report presents the global market opportunity for smart metering. It includes five year market size forecasts, coverage of 61 companies, in-depth technology analysis, and a deployment matrix of 178 smart meter projects worldwide. For more information, go to: http://onworld.com/smartmeter
About ON World:
ON World Inc. provides world class business intelligence on Smart Technology markets. Our research reports and information services are sold to Fortune 1000 companies, startups, and investors worldwide. More information is available from http://www.onworld.com.
Mary E. Purvis
Email: research (at) onworld (dot) com