There is no doubt that we are in the midst of an energy revolution. Not only is the nature of energy changing from fossil-generated energy to renewable – there is a total change in the distribution structure occurring with less focus on centralisation and more on distributed energy.
Concerns about issues such as energy security, environmental sustainability, and economic competitiveness are triggering a shift in energy policy, technology and consumer focus. This, in turn, is making it necessary to move on from the traditional energy business models.
By making the electricity grid ‘intelligent’ and adding telecoms to it, the power will eventually shift away from the electricity companies and to the customers, who will be able to control their energy consumption through sensors, M2M devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Europe and North America are rated as the most advanced adopters of smart grid and smart metering technology, but the market is now shifting more and more towards Asia and the developing world.
‘Smart’ means communication, and since many countries are addressing their broadband networks, the smart thing to do would be to roll out fast broadband infrastructure in combination with smart grids and, wherever applicable, other smart infrastructure. In that way, energy efficiency measures can be implemented throughout society and throughout the economy (buildings, transport, cities) with a minimum of extra infrastructure, as a trans-sector approach is based on sharing the infrastructure.
Unfortunately, one of the major obstacles to smart grid uptake continues to be the lack of good government policies. With all the knowledge we now have, it would amount to a criminal offence if this generation were to allow vested interests to prevent us from developing trans-sector policies and holistic initiatives to address energy and environmental concerns. We need to break down those silos and force cooperation between the sectors wherever possible.
This BuddeComm report is designed to provide a current smart grid market overview as well as insightful observations supported by statistics and examples, which may assist investors, analysts and industry participants in making investment and business decisions.
With energy consumption expected to grow worldwide by more than 40% over the next 25 years, demand in some parts of the world could exceed 100% in that time. This will produce an increase in competition for resources, resulting in higher costs. In an environment such as this; energy efficiency will become even more important. The value of the global smart grid market is forecast to grow to over $118 billion by 2019. Energy is now at the heart of the G20’s agenda and, for the first time, G20 Energy Ministers are holding meetings to address global energy concerns.