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Canada’s smart grid landscape picks up as US loses dominance


August 15, 2012
By Alyssa Dalton

August 15, 2012 – Smart grids are now more heavily embraced in Canada than the U.S. with the support of government policies and grants, according to a new report by GlobalData.

Titled Smart Grid Landscape in North America – Market Size, Key Issues, Regulations, Investment Analysis and Outlook to 2020, the report notes that Canada’s cautious approach to smart grid technology contrasts the U.S. market’s early adoption. The report also points out stronger environmental worries are driving Canada to gear up and introduce more electric vehicles.

In 2009, the Canadian budget for Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) projects supplied $795 million under the Clean Energy Fund (CEF) to promote clean energy advancement, including large-scale carbon capture and other medium-sized projects that utilize biomass, geothermal and renewable technologies.

According to the report, smart meter deployment in Canada doesn’t follow any set pattern, and is primarily driven by projects initiated by utilities.

“An increasing demand for energy efficiency and grid reliability is leading to development of the demand response market as Canada is poised for its annual demand response capacity to be multiplied nearly 20 times by 2020 compared to 2011 levels,” notes the report. “Over the past few years, a number of demand response programs have been introduced to encourage peak load reduction in the country, and these, alongside an extended use of microgrids, will drive the market for demand response in Canada.”

Secondly, the growing market for battery electric vehicles (BEV) is expected to help Canada adapt to smart grid technology, states the report.

“Currently the BEV market in North America is at the introductory stage, growing at a CAGR of 29% between 2011 and 2020, but the electric vehicle market in Canada is already very competitive, with a number of vendors fighting for market shares in a market expected to grow at a CAGR of 81% during the same period,” continues the report.

The report also provides an analysis of smart grid industry in North America with details on industry progress, key drivers, challenges, standards, policies and research and development trend, and gives an outlook on microgrid, cloud computing, emergence of smart cities and various other technologies in North America.