Smart Grid Technologies

The electrical grid stands tall as a marvel of the 20th century, with high levels of reliability and the capability to deliver nearly ubiquitous electricity to the industrialized world. Widely available electricity has served as the foundation for numerous technological innovations that shape modern society. The grid is a highly complex network with millions of miles of distribution lines, yet despite the critical role it plays, there is relatively little intelligence within this network.

The key market motivators driving the Smart Grid buildout fall into four categories: improved reliability and security, improving operating efficiencies and costs, balancing power generation supply and demand, and reducing the overall electrical system’s impact on climate change.

Barriers to this transformation go well beyond pure technical and economic issues, including a lack of common vision and standards, outdated and fragmented business and regulatory models, and lack of awareness (and often trust) of the consuming public. However, government and industry bodies are coming together with urgency to drive the industry forward. Pike Research forecasts that Smart Grid infrastructure, including grid automation upgrades as well as smart metering, represents a huge market opportunity and will attract $200 billion in worldwide investment between 2008 and 2015.

Even though electric vehicless are expected to make a splash next year, with General Motors, Nissan and Mitsubishi readying their models for market, only about 2 percent of Smart Grid spending is expected to go to advanced transportation systems. Even after the electric cars hit mainstream showrooms, it will take years for them to capture enough market share to make a difference in grid operations. Without electric vehicles on the road, electric car fueling companies like Coulomb Technologies and Better Place won’t be able to break out either.

This Pike Research report analyzes the global market for Smart Grid technologies and applications, including advanced metering infrastructure, transmission upgrades, substation automation, distribution automation, energy management systems, and electric vehicle management, among others. The report examines utility business models, regulatory factors, technology issues related to smart grid networking and other areas, and the dynamics of end-user demand. It includes profiles and analysis of 70 key players in the rapidly evolving Smart Grid industry ecosystem, as well as detailed global market forecasts through 2015, segmented by region and application.

Key questions addressed:

* What is the definition of the Smart Grid from the perspectives of technology, functionality, and applications?
* What are the key policy, technology, and economic issues that will influence the development of the Smart Grid market?
* What are the key Smart Grid technologies, and how will they evolve?
* How will Smart Grid deployments differ around the world?
* Who are the key Smart Grid industry players, and how do they relate to each other?
* How large is the global Smart Grid market opportunity, and how will it be segmented by region and application?
* What are consumer attitudes and preferences regarding key applications such as Energy Information Displays and Demand Response?