Smart grid market to be powered by new technology, says IMS
The US market for smart metering backhaul infrastructure is forecasted to have annual revenues near $200m, despite a decline in smart electricity meter shipments, according to market analyst IMS Research.
According to the analyst, early smart meter rollouts in North America were marked by rapid adoption of new technologies, but as federal stimulus funding supporting smart electricity metering begins to wane, the remaining utility operators who have not yet adopted smart metering have been slower to widely install the technology.
This, together with weak housing construction in the US leaves smart metering solution providers considering alternate ways to add value and encourage continued investment in metering infrastructure.
“It is projected that as smart meter shipments bottom out in 2015, the emergence of next-generation meter data backhaul devices designed to integrate smart meter data for better grid automation will bring a return to growth for this market,” said senior market analyst, Donald Henschel.
It is possible these next-generation devices may enable utilities to use their installed smart meter stock to drive more effective smart grid applications such as conservation voltage reduction or more sustainable electric vehicle charging.
“Smart grid automation/smart metering convergence has been a topic of interest for years, but utilities have not been adequately convinced of the benefit of merging these tasks and systems,” said Henschel.
“By offering concentrators with onboard intelligence and local connectivity to serial and Ethernet DA control devices, AMI solution providers are allowing application developers and automation equipment manufacturers to take advantage of real-time endpoint meter data,” said Henschel.
This analysis is drawn from IMS Research’s The Americas Market for Smart Grid Networking – 2012.