The worldwide Smart Grid Operations Management software and services market will grow by greater than 65% over the next five years, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1%, according to a new report.
ARC Advisory Group says this substantial growth will result from a concurrent wave of new technology and worldwide infrastructure spending driven by sovereign investment programs. These sovereign investment programs are heavily focused on technology to improve grid reliability, efficiency, and information management capabilities. Smart grid operations management software is a critical element in the development of more efficient and reliable electric grids.
The United States, China, and India are the countries currently allocating the greatest amount of public capital to grid expansion and improvement initiatives.
“The concurrent deployment of the $8 billion in U.S. smart grid investment, $180 billion in Chinese grid investment, and $10 billion for the Indian R-APDRP program is serving as the catalyst for exceptional growth in this technology-driven market,” according to Clint Reiser, Enterprise Software Analyst, and the principal author of ARC’s “Smart Grid Operations Management Software & Services Worldwide Outlook”. The growth is also being supported by expansion projects in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Latin America.
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allotted $4.5 billion to modernize the electric grid, enhance security of U.S. energy infrastructure, and ensure reliable electricity delivery to meet growing demand. Smart grid management software vendors have already begun experiencing increased interest in their solutions. Although these software vendors anticipate growth to occur in transmission and substation automation technology, they anticipate the greatest growth to occur from spending on distribution technology to enhance network control, efficiency, reliability, and power quality. In particular, vendors have noted that utilities have shown interest in new distribution management system and outage management system applications.
In addition to the usual suspects, like GE (NYSE: GE), Siemens (NYSE: SI), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), other companies providing smarter gird software include ABB, Silver Spring Networks and eMeter.
China is in the midst of a large-scale, nationwide grid extension and modernization project. What began as an effort to supply electricity to the majority of the country’s population has gradually shifted focus toward grid modernization and efficiency. ARC believes that smart grid operations management software and other intelligent grid elements will account for an increasing percentage of total spending as this shift in focus toward grid modernization continues. Chinese Government and industry leaders have stated that a “unified strong and smart grid” system is going to be built across the country by 2020. Larger scale smart grid construction is expected to be included in China’s five year development plan beginning in 2011.
A number of foreign technology and service providers have already established a presence in China in anticipation of the country’s smart grid growth opportunities. These include ECOtality, Mitsubishi Electric (6503.T) and GE.