Greentech Lead America: Smart Grid communications nodes
will reach nearly 103 million in 2020, from over 58 million in 2011. Revenue
from this equipment will touch $2.96 billion in 2014.
“The sheer size and scope of smart grid communications
efforts has created some gold rush characteristics in the market, as
traditional communications and IT companies view the electric utility industry
as a potentially high-growth adjacent market,” said Bob Gohn, vice president,
Smart meter installation activity is likely to slow down
due to the completion of large utility installations and a reduction in
stimulus funding in the United States and the utilities’ plan to focus on
projects that can quickly deliver return on investment.
The report said the market is shifting from the high unit
volume, less expensive nodes used in smart meters, to lower unit volume,
networking equipment and communications gear found in substation automation
projects, distribution network upgrades, and other projects that offer a path
to a fully integrated grid-wide communications system.
Ratepayers and politicians are pushing utilities to
clearly define how smart meters and smart grid technology will benefit the
public. Utilities are readjusting their educational tactics, as well as
launching smaller, less visible smart grid projects that can quickly and easily
demonstrate real-world benefits to ratepayers, not just the utility.
“While overall, the market is still robust, with a good
deal of diversity and opportunity, investment in advanced metering
infrastructure (AMI) networks will be reduced starting in the second half of
the decade, as utilities focus on high-return grid enhancement projects that
provide important reliability, security, and efficiency gains, with less need
for the challenging process of customer education,” Gohn added.