According to a new technical market research report, ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE SMART GRID (EGY065B) from BCC Research (www.bccresearch.com), the value of the global market for enabling technologies for the smart grid was nearly $23.7 billion in 2011, but is expected to increase to $33.1 billion in 2016, for a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9%.
The largest segment of the market, distributed energy generation and storage, is projected to increase at a CAGR of 9.2% to $29.2 billion in 2016, after being valued at an estimated $18.1 billion in 2011.
The second-largest segment currently, communications, is estimated at $2.8 billion in 2011, but is expected to decrease at a CAGR of -23.6% to only $741.6 billion in 2016. The sensing, measurement, and control segment will increase in value from $2.7 billion in 2011 to $3.1 billion in 2016, for a CAGR of 3%. The smallest segment, transmission lines, will have the highest rate of growth, a CAGR of 87.2%, rising from $16.9 million in 2011 to $389 million in 2016.
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 megawatts 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.
Governments and utilities in the U.S. and elsewhere are investing in new technologies in order to build a 21st-century grid that runs more efficiently, generates higher-quality power, resists attack, is self-healing, enables consumers to manage their energy use better and reduce costs, and integrates decentralized generation (e.g., renewable energy) and storage (such as fuel cell) technologies.
These technologies are often referred to generically as smart grid technologies. Smart grid describes a set of related technologies, rather than specific technology with a generally-agreed-on specification. The overall goal of this report is to reassess the business opportunities for providers of smart grid technologies that will arise over the next five years as products utilizing these technologies increase their market penetration.