South America is poised to become a key market for smart grid infrastructure in a decade, a report says.
Electricity theft, lack of reliability of the grid and operational inefficiencies are constant threats before the energy market in South America.
By some estimates, about 9 percent of electricity produced in South America is stolen. In specific territories this may exceed 30 percent.
According to a report published by Northeast Group, utilities in South America have started investing in large-scale smart grid projects to remedy these ills plaguing the sector.
The region will see investment in the sector to the tune of $38.1 billion between 2015 and 2025 the study says.
“Brazil is the largest market in the region for smart grid investment,” Ben Gardner, President of Northeast Group, says. “In just the past year, Brazilian utilities announced deployments of over 3 million smart meters and will invest $25.6bn over the next ten years.”
Countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina are among the other significant investors in the sector. “In total, South America will invest $22.6 billion in smart metering, $7.2 billion in distribution automation and $8.3 billion in other smart grid market segments over the forecast period,” Gardner adds.
International players such as ABB, Aclara, Alstom, Elster, GE, Iskraemeco, Itron, Kamstrup, Landis+Gyr, Schneider, S&C, SEL, Sensus, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks, Trilliant and Ziv are vying for projects in South America. Several local players such as Weg, ELO, Nansen and CAM are also active in the market.
China is also seen to be expanding its footprint in the sector. Recently, Hexing acquired Eletra Energia to boost its position in Brazil and Wasion has announced smart meter projects in Brazil.
Other Chinese vendors are also reportedly looking for similar deals according to the report.
Ajith Kumar S