"The true value of the Smart Grid worth $100 billion by 2020"

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NRG Expert, the energy intelligence company, reviews the Global Smart Grid market to find out what is making governments, companies and investors take such an interest in this sector.

Top 5 Smart Grid stats*

  • $2 trillion – estimated total investment needed to achieve full smart grid penetration (1)
  • $480 billion - estimated cost of smart grid-related upgrades in US (2)
  • $100 billion - true value of the smart grid market by 2020 (3)
  • 400% - the percentage by which Western countries' electricity prices

will soar in the next 30 years if electricity grids do not become smart grids (4)

  • $90 billion - the investment that China plans to make in smart grid technology by 2020 (5)

Why is the smart grid and smart metering of interest?

The electricity infrastructure in place today requires significant investment to modernise.

The smart grid is viewed as a solution due to its:

  • ability to detect faults and to make repairs
  • ability to enable a two-way flow of communication
  • ability to help companies better match supply and demand.

Drivers of the smart grid include:

  • Increases in electricity demand
  • The need to minimise power outages
  • The need to reduce carbon emissions
  • Pressure to integrate renewable energy sources (particularly wind and

solar PV) into the energy mix

  • Requirements to reduce energy consumption

Smart Grid – Pros outweighing cons

“According to the International Energy Administration, the deployment of asmart grid can result in a 0.9 to 2.2 gigatonne reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.”

Overall, the smart grid business case is becoming loaded in favour of utility

  • Reduced labour costs (e.g. due to less field metering)
  • Reduced investments in additional power capacity
  • Improved electricity supply
  • Lower compensation payments to businesses for blackouts
  • Significantly reduced penalties for lower carbon emissions.

However, initial barriers exist to smart grid take up, which include:

  • Current low cost of electricity
  • Shorter life span and a less reliable track record than conventional meters
  • The risk of security breaches, hacking of smart meter data transmissions and potential malicious attacks.

Key players

Key players in the smart grid sector include Echelon, Elster, Itron (formerly Actaris), Landis+Gyr and Sensus. No one company is vertically integrated across the entire smart grid sector, although Cisco and GE are the furthest along. Interestingly, IBM is now also looking at Smart Grid development.

Key focus: China

Initial investment will be focused in the European and US markets but is expected to shift to the Asia Pacific region, particularly China, where most investment will occur by 2050.

“Chinese leaders view smart grid technology as the 'next industrial revolution’.”

With the future value of the Smart Grid sector forecast to grow to 100 billion by 2020, governments, companies and individuals are researching this market heavily.

To help companies obtain in-depth information and analysis, NRG Expert has released two reports:

>> Electricity T&D Infrastructure & Technologies Report

>> Global Smart Grid Report

For more information visit: http://www.nrgexpert.com/?p=888

Or contact:

Edgar van der Meer

NRG Expert +1 (416) 840-5847

+44 (0)20 8432 3059



Background information

NRG Expert is a London and Toronto based energy intelligence and market research publisher. NRG Expert provides up to date information and analysis on worldwide energy markets, including electricity, natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewable energy, water and waste, and all elements of energy infrastructure.

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Edgar van der Meer
NRG Expert
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