The smart grid is an enormous worldwide effort to modernize our electrical grid. The global scale alone makes this a colossal task. Complicating this effort is the incredible variety of electrical systems throughout the world, and the vast maze of utilities managing them. Just in the US alone, there are more than 3,000 separate utilities, local governments, and private companies operating America's electrical grid. New In-Stat ( research forecasts that by 2016, over 75% of all US electric meters will be converted to smart meters.

“Over the next five years, and for decades thereafter, the world will be deploying the smart grid,” says Allen Nogee, Research Director. “Initially, most of this will be smart meters, but once those are out, client devices, software, and home automation equipment may all benefit as consumers and utilities make use of the information that smart meters provide. While utilities will be big beneficiaries from the smart grid movement, consumers will benefit as well, with more choices in rate plans and a much better understanding of the link between their electricity usage and their costs.”

Recent In-Stat research found:

  • Worldwide smart meter revenue will surpass US$12 billion in 2016.

  • ZigBee leads in smart meter home area network technology; powerline and wireless lead in smart meter backhaul.

  • China will deploy 280 million smart meters by 2016.

  • The number of smart meters deployed in the US per year will decline after peaking in 2011, when stimulus money prompted utilities to update their meters, but worldwide, smart meter deployment will continue to grow.

This Market Alert is drawn from the In-Stat research,  Getting Smart on Worldwide Smart Meter Communication Technology (#IN1104731WH), which contains an in-depth look at the smart grid in general, and the smart meter and communication technology employed and includes:

Smart meter five-year forecast

  • Technology forecast from smart meter into the house o ZigBee o Wi-Fi
  • Technology forecast from smart meter back to the utility o Powerline o Proprietary wireless and 802.15.4 o Cellular/licensed spectrum o White space o Other technology
  • Examples of current projects: Pacific Gas and Electric, Salt River Project—Arizona, Baltimore Gas and Electric—Maryland, Austin Electric—Texas, Xcel Energy Boulder—Colorado, Sacramento Municipal Utility District—California
  • Profiles of smart meter/smart grid manufacturers; Aclara, Echelon, Ember, Elster, GE, Hexing Electric, Holly Smart Meters, Itron, Landis + Gyr, Sensus, and SmartSynch

This research is part of In-Stat's Mobile Devices service, which provides analysis and forecasts of the market for mobile communications and computing devices, including cell phones, smartphones, MIDs, tablets, mini-notes/netbooks, and notebooks.

Related research:

HomePlug, MoCA, HomePNA, and And the Winner Is…

Cellular Modems, Mobile Hotspots, and Embedded Modems: Wherever We Go, We Want To Be Connected

Global 802.15.4 and ZigBee

More Information on this Research

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