This annual report titled: Global Smart Infrastructure – The Smart Grid and M2M Movement offers a wealth of information on the global smart grid sector and is a key resource of insights, statistics, examples and trends. It provides important insights into the smart grid and smart energy industry and identifies the key trends which will play an important role in the future. The report provides trends and statistics on the development and deployment of smart meters and also includes unique and valuable case studies on smart grid developments in the USA, Australia, Europe and Africa.
Please note, for information on Smart Cities and Arificial Intelligence, see separate annual publication.
Subjects covered include:
Reserachers:- Kylie Wansink, Paul Budde, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange.
Current publication date:- August 2013 (3rd Edition)
Governments and society are beginning to understand that energy savings and environment sustainability are important national issues that have an economic value as well. The focus on energy savings and sustainability linked to the rapid development of smart technologies is seeing the focus shift from smart meter rollouts – to the broader issues of smart grids. These developments should be considered in the broader context of the modernisation of electricity networks through the introduction of sensing, communications and information technology into the grid - also known as machine-to-machine (M2M).
The energy sector is one of the last to face the transformation forced upon them by technical, social and political developments. While the writing has been on the wall for some time – initially driven by environmental and sustainability issues – it was not until consumer energy prices started to increase that the foundations of this industry were questioned, at which point the sector was thoroughly scrutinised by the consumers, media and the politicians. At that time it became clear that the industry had failed to keep up with social change and with changes in technology. It now faces significant challenges, both in relation to sustainability and to price increases.
Despite this increased understanding - in 2013 there seems to be a lull in smart grid developments after the early enthusiasm from 2007 to 2012. We now seem to have arrived at a period of regrouping and rethinking. Around the world some smart meter rollouts have been completed and some are still underway. However, the process has often been interrupted by consumer outcries and political intervention. The main reason for this has been the initial strategic mistake, made when electricity companies embarked on smart meter rollouts more or less as a stand-alone project. Most of these rollouts were based on facilitating time of use (ToU) pricing that would give the electricity companies the opportunity to increase prices at times of peak demand in order to better manage their network.
As long ago as 2006; BuddeComm argued for a much more holistic approach to the looming energy crisis, the climate change issues and energy efficiency in general. We said that the industry should look at the concept of smart grids as an overall approach to these issues. The smart grid concept can indeed facilitate smart meters and ToU, but they could also assist customers in more efficient management of energy use within their homes; and they can also facilitate management of renewable energy, electric vehicles and so on. It has as much to do with industry transformation as with smart technologies. Today there is a much better understanding of the concept of the smart grid and few energy companies would now embark on isolated smart meter rollouts - although some still continue to do so.
The telcos are looking at the broader market of M2M as a key revenue earner for the future and BuddeComm forecasts that sensors and other devices installed within the energy infrastructures will constitute 40%-50% of the overall M2M market. So obviously this is a key target market and it is most likely that the electricity industry will become the largest user of M2M networks.
With a better understanding of the complexity involved in the transformation of the electricity industry; the words ‘smart energy’ are becoming more prominent. BuddeComm believes that the term ‘smart grids’ is too narrow and that eventually ‘smart energy’ will become the accepted terminology, especially once the communications developments in national broadband networks and mobile broadband start to converge with smart grid developments.
BuddeComm’s new report, Global Smart Infrastructure – The Smart Grid and M2M Movement, provides important insights into the movement towards smart grid and smart energy practices. It identifies the key trends which will play an important role in the future, including insights in M2M which is closely related to smart infrastructure developments. The report provides global insights into the unfolding smart meter market and explores the consumer issues impacting upon uptake. In addition, this insightful document includes valuable and unique case studies on selected countries from North America, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Europe.
Examples of key insights:
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year
Number of pages 122
Last updated 28 Aug 2013
Analyst: Kylie Wansink
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