While current development of smart grid technology has been centered on advanced markets, the Northeast Group released a study identifying 25 emerging-market countries positioned to begin smart grid implementation over the next decade, and the opportunity for related market growth.
First up, the study identified Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Arab Emirates as the countries most ready to begin large-scale smart grid implementation in the next three years. This first stage of development would focus primarily on smart metering implementation, creating substantial demand in meter hardware, communications, IT and related services markets.
The number of electricity meters in all 25 countries is estimated to grow to 406 million by 2020, with nearly 30 percent already planned to be smart meters. This value of this initial smart metering market alone is estimated at $27 billion and could reach $49 billion by 2020, Northeast Group says. Once smart meters are in place, opportunities open up for distribution and substation automation, home energy management technology, distributed solar and electric vehicle supply.
According to Northeast Group, smart grid development offers these countries a wide variety of economic and environmental benefits. “Countries can improve overall electric utility reliability, reduce electricity theft rates, manage surging demand and incorporate new sources of renewable energy,” the research consultant reports. “Modernizing the electricity infrastructure will be increasingly important as these economies grow quickly over the next several years. The 25 countries in the study are forecast to see average annual GDP growth of 4.3 percent over the next five years, compared with 1.7 percent in the developed world.”