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Smart grid market hits $33 billion

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A new report outlining smart grid spending in the years between 2012 and 2022 has found that currently, the market is worth about $33 billion, and is expected to grow sharply in the next 10 years.

The Market Research report, titled "The Smart Grid Market 2012-2022," details the improvements to the electric power grid that will provide never-before-seen advantages for utilities. These advancements will improve efficiency of electricity supply and also lower overall consumption by providing companies with real-time energy usage data. Although the industry will see growth in the coming 10 years, industry players will still face two major hurdles when it comes to deploying smart grid systems: interoperability difficulties and renewable energy integration.

If these two issues can be properly resolved, the path will be more or less clear for utilities to begin large-scale deployments of smart grid technologies, the report stated. By the end of 2012, the market is expected to reach a value of $33.91 billion.

In 2013, smart grid deployments are expected to shift from the implementation phase to actualization of smart grid benefits. This period will also be marked by new regulations that will govern how renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, can best be introduced to the existing energy network. Although the pace of renewables integration and interoperable solutions development will be slower at first - as it is partially tied to the financial struggles in Europe and slower growth in emerging economies - the industry will enter a period of robust growth beyond 2013.

According to Gigaom, the future of smart grid technologies lies in distribution automation solutions that operate on a wireless network. In the last several years, wireless IP-based communication systems have proven to be effective in distribution automation systems, which are secure and easy to deploy. Various vendors, such as ABB, Siemens, GE and Schneider are all developing intelligent electronic devices that will help utilities gather crucial information offered by the smart grid.

However, obtaining and organizing this huge amount of data can be costly and time consuming. To remedy this situation, SUBNET has developed several products that allow utilities to securely gather information from a wide range of disparate devices. SUBNET's Unified Grid Intelligence will help utilities solve the interoperability issues of the smart grid, while ensuring compliance with NERC CIP cyber security standards.

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