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Asia’s smart grid to grow through innovation and commitment, report finds

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The growth of Asia’s burgeoning smart grid sector will be driven by the need to better integrate renewable energy sources into electric grids around the continent, as well as technological developments in energy storage and battery systems, a new report shows.

According to EcoSeed, a recent Zpryme report showed the Asian smart grid market is expected to grow as the demand for improved electrical networks in India and China increases through 2015. Both countries have enormous potential for a strong smart grid network given the recent improvements to wind and other renewable energy installations. But the largest smart grid growth in the short term will be seen in Japan, which has a target of 15 percent energy storage compared to the U.S.’ 2 percent.

Japan is also introducing new tariffs that aim to increase renewable energy capacity from 19,500 megawatts to 22,000 in nine months. As the country increases its renewable energy capacity through 2020, it will drive a need for more than 25 gigawatts of storage for every 100 gigawatt-hours of energy emitted.

"When it comes to the integration of renewable energy into the grid, Asia has solidified its commitment to walk the walk, not talk the talk," said Paula Smith, Zpryme senior research analyst. "Entities who have been wishy-washy about whether the smart grid future would come true need to wake up very, very quickly [there’s no time to waste] and accept the notion that it has become a reality."

According to the media outlet, new technologies will further increase the number and scale of smart grid deployments. Many of these innovations will be in energy storage. Although pumped-hydro and compressed-air power storage technologies are now used in large-scale operations, others - such as advanced battery systems, superconductor magnetic energy storage and flywheel technologies – are used less frequently.

Utility Products reports that growth in the Asian smart grid market will also be driven heavily by increasing demand in Malaysia. Regional smart grid expert Nadine Zrinzo recently spoke at the Transmission and Distribution Smart Grids Asia 2012 conference, where she discussed the rapid development.

"The smart grid market in Asia is booming," she said. "In order to meet demand of increasing energy consumption, utilities in for example Malaysia and Thailand have recently announced ambitious smart grid projects."

The global growth of the smart grid is a testament to its potential to revolutionize power transmission and distribution. SUBNET’s products have already helped some of North Americas largest utilities ensure these deployments are performed efficiently.

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