By Alyssa Dalton
August 25, 2014 – A report from Navigant Research estimates that cumulative worldwide spending on smart grid technologies will total $594 billion from 2014 through 2023, as the need for a more responsive, automated, and efficient power grid rises worldwide.
“The benefits of smart grid technology are becoming increasingly measurable, in terms of both economic benefits and improved grid reliability,” said Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Government mandates and growing challenges to grid stability, such as aging infrastructure, electric vehicle charging, and distributed generation, are contributing to increased spending on everything from smart metering systems in the field to new IT systems in the operations centre.”
The report, “Smart Grid Technologies,” analyzes the global market for smart grid technologies, with a focus on transmission upgrades, SA, DA, information and operations technology (IT/OT) software and services, and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).
One of the major developments of the last year, according to the report, is that intelligence is increasingly put into grid devices rather than in the operations centre, and analytics are moving closer to the data; in other words, the “smart” is moving outward, to the edges of the grid. Distributed intelligence offers two major benefits to utilities, stated the report.
“First, it alleviates the data flow to central control, placing less stress on communications networks. Second, distributed intelligence allows for faster—virtually instantaneous in some cases—response, which may help reduce outage times,” it noted.