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Spending on smart grids doubled in 2012

01 March 2013
Spending on smart grids doubled in 2012

LONDON: Spending from utilities switching their networks to smart grids reached US$23.68 billion in 2012, a year total which represents almost double that of all smart grid spending to date.

Worldwide smart grid spending reached US$23.68 billion in 2012, up 47.1% from US$16.10 billion in 2011.

Smart grid growth

The figures come from a new report, Utilities and Smart Grids by ABI Research, which also said spending on smart grids will continue to increase over the next five years to top US$80.8 billion in 2018.

Jonathan Collins, Principal Analyst, ABI Research said: “Utilities are investing in the rollout of a broad assortment of new applications and spending is driving new services from a wide range of vendors and consultants. The complexity of the new hardware, applications, and the expansive array of suppliers vying to deliver services continues to ensure that systems integrators benefit with a significant share of the spending.”

Increasing clean energy

This week, separate research was published further demonstrating smart grid growth. The Worldwatch Institute’s Vital Signs Online research shows that global investment in smart grid technologies rose 7% in 2012, reaching US$13.9 billion. This was driven by increasing shares of renewable energy in the electricity mix as well as nations’ need to update old grid infrastructure.

US led the way by spending US$4.3 billion on smart grid technologies in 2012, followed by China with US$3.2 billion. The European Union saw a 27% increase in spending to US$1.4 billion.

Smarter future

Kirsten Jack, Acting Head of Smart Technologies, The Climate Group said: “A smart grid is a national network that uses communications technology to provide more efficient electricity and reliably; a factor which is attracting greater investment to smart grids since extreme weather patterns increasingly disrupted power in 2012. This, plus the need for utilities to improve their core networks and utilize the benefits of their growing applications portfolios, has guaranteed that smart grid spending will continue to steam ahead over the next five years, driving us towards a smarter, cleaner, better future.”

In December, 2011, The Climate Group published the Information Marketplaces report to show how technology can provide value for city sustainability today and in the near future. Our 2008 SMART 2020 report shows that the ICT sector can save 15% of global emissions in 2020. Read our reports now.

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By Clare Saxon


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