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Multi-billion dollar smart grid opportunities to arise in coming decade

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, December 09, 2011

A recent study conducted by the Northeast Group, LLC found that 25 emerging markets are poised for electric grid growth as smart grid deployments continue to increase around the world.

Together, the countries represent a smart grid market of at least $27 billion in meters alone, and could hit $49 billion by 2020. The report, titled "Emerging Markets Smart Grid: 25-Country Overview," provides a full analysis of smart grid roll outs in 25 countries from Central/Eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa, South Africa and Southeast Asia.

"The majority of smart grid activity to date has taken place in well known markets in North America, Western Europe and East Asia. These developed markets represent more than 95 percent of the current installed base of smart meters worldwide," the report noted. "However, there are a number of very attractive emerging market countries that have not received as much coverage and have very strong potential for smart metering and other smart grid projects."

The report stated 11 of the 25 companies are well prepared to begin large-scale smart grid deployments within the next three years. In addition to advanced metering infrastructure investments, there will be strong growth in distribution automation, substation automation and home energy management advancements.

Jesse Berst, a smart grid deployment expert and founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid News, predicts that within 10 years, some of the countries detailed in the report will have "leapfrogged" the developed world, in the same way Korea overtook western telecommunications and cellular companies.

While emerging markets are expected to see a boom in smart grid developments in the coming decade, in the U.S., several initiatives have already begun with a number of utilities.

Tennessee's Bolivar Energy Authority (BEA) recently unveiled its plan for an advanced metering infrastructure system, which will allow the utility to improve its operations and provide more reliable power to its customers.

BEA provides electricity to about 11,000 homes and businesses in its service area, and will install the smart meters on all equipment by 2012.

As more utilities look to upgrade their aging electric infrastructure, SUBNET Solutions Inc. is well prepared to help the companies install similar equipment, such as substation automation devices.

The solutions provider also ensures that utilities meet the requirements of NERC CIP regulations by leveraging existing assets of the company.  

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