Steady growth forecast for smart grid
Global spending on smart grid (intelligent electricity distribution systems) rose 7 per cent last year to reach $13.9 billion. Further steady 10 per cent growth is expected to see the market worth $25.2 billion by 2018.
Half the current total is for smart metering and related spending, distribution automation comes next and a substantial proportion is still being swallowed by demonstration projects for things like electric vehicle charging and home energy management, says BNEF.
But the picture is somewhat mixed. While the US is still the biggest centre of activity, spend was down at $4.3 billion last year from the 2011 figure of $5.1 billion (in part due to the temporary boost from stimulus funding). Europe lagged at $1.4 billion in 2012, although this is up from the $1.1 billion spent in 2011. A further boost in European spending is expected as countries such as France and the UK begin major deployments in a few years' time.
The hotspot is Asia generally and China in particular. China boosted its smart grid spend from $2.8 billion in 2011 to to $3.2 billion last year due to a huge smart metering procurement, but this spend is expected to continue with China then overtaking the US as the largest national market this year.