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Smart grid spending to reach $46.4 billion by 2015

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, April 09, 2012

A new study performed by IDC Energy Insights has found that smart grid spending is forecast to see a compound annual growth rate for hardware, software and services of 17.4 percent on a global scale, while overall spending is expected to hit nearly $46.4 billion around the world in 2015.

The most growth is expected to be seen in the Asia/Pacific region, which is forecast to experience growth in spending with a five-year CAGR of 33.7 percent.

In the report, IDC identified 14 smart grid project deployments that will drive the highest investment amounts across various regions. The study was based on technology type, such as hardware, software or services, if the utility is operated by the government or privately owned and the type of electricity that is generated.

Although utilities around the world face similar pressures to make improvements to existing power grid infrastructure, regional differences have led to differing deployment rates. Varying government mandates, environmental regulations and private sector support have led utilities to develop unique plans for smart grid deployment.

Still, no matter the context, utilities are expecting to invest more heavily in smart grid technologies to improve grid reliability, increase energy delivery efficiency, support intermittent sources of energy, reduce operations and maintenance costs, improve system security and enable demand response.

Looking at these impetuses, the report found smart meter investments in Europe are expected to propel the industry's growth forward, as a number of significant deployments are expected to begin in response to Europe's new 20-20-20 initiative, which seeks to increase energy efficiency, C02 emissions reductions and use of renewable energy sources by 20 percent by 2020.

The report found North America will likely see increased deployment of advanced metering infrastructure as the need for demand response programs grows through 2014. In the same period, North America is expected to see greater investments in automation that will concentrate on feeder automation, volt/var optimization and automated fault restoration.

As more utilities install substation automation capabilities, SUBNET will provide its software and services that ensure efficient integration, operation and maintenance. SUBNET's Unified Fault File Management helps utilities automate the collection and retrieval of fault records from its installed base of disparate vendor relays.

The product uses powerful filtering and query capabilities to search vast fault record archives and promptly find records, and parse out all sampled fault record data for storage in popular data historian solutions. 

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