According to a new technical market research report, Enabling Technologies for the Smart Grid from BCC Research the U.S. market for smart grid technologies was valued at $41.6 billion in 2012 and is projected to decline to $35.4 billion by 2013. BCC Research expects the market to recover and grow to nearly $68.7 billion by 2018, and register a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2%.
The century-old U.S. electrical grid has been called the largest interconnected machine on earth. It consists of more than 9,200 electric-generating units with more than 1,000,000 MW of generating capacity, connected to more than 300,000 miles of transmission lines. However, the grid is showing its age. There have been massive blackouts in recent years, including the 2003 Northeast blackout, the worst in the nation's history. Although it was accidental, the 2003 blackout was a reminder of the grid's vulnerability to terrorist attack.
Power outages and power quality disturbances cost the U.S. economy anywhere from $80 billion to $188 billion annually. Governments and utilities in the U.S. and elsewhere are investing in new technologies in order to build a 21st-century power grid. In addition to meeting the need for reliable, high-quality power, these technologies are intended to meet the economy's energy needs as efficiently as possible by optimizing energy consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Simply put, a smart grid is a modernized electrical grid that uses information and communications technology to gather and act on data in an automated fashion. Smart grid technologies are designed to improve the efficiency, reliability, cost, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity. However, the term "smart grid" describes a set of related technologies, rather than a specific technology with a generally agreed-on specification.
This report is an update of an earlier BCC report with the same title that was published in early 2011. Since then, there have been important developments that have the potential to affect the development of the smart grid. A growing number of investor- and publicly-owned utilities have been investing in smart grid projects. Large corporate players such as Google, IBM, GE, and Cisco are showing increasing interest in the smart grid; and there has been a significant increase in the amount of venture capital flowing into smart grid-related investments.
This report from BCC Research provides a comprehensive overview of the business opportunities for providers of smart grid technologies that will arise over the next five years (2013 to 2018) as products utilizing these technologies increase their market penetration. Specifically, the report identifies the smart grid technologies with the greatest commercial potential over this period and analyzes the technical, economic, and other demand drivers for these products, In addition, this study forecasts the U.S. markets for smart grid technologies through 2018 and presents a macro-level examination of political and economic forces that are helping to shape the market for these technologies.