According to a report by Pike Research, a market research and consulting firm, energy markets in the Asia Pacific region are experiencing a period of significant growth and development, with a forecasted smart grid market growth of $16.9 billion in the next six years.
According to the report, investment in smart grid technologies by utilities and governments within Asia Pacific will rise over the next several years, and the total smart grid market will increase from $11.9 billion in 2011 to $28.8 billion by 2017. It is forecasted that the cumulative smart grid investment in the region will reach $171.3 billion by 2017.
“Smart grid market drivers differ significantly by country within the Asia Pacific region,” says senior analyst Andy Bae. “Chinese market players believe that the construction of a smart grid is a key part of economic growth and enhancing the ability to optimize energy allocation, including the integration of new generation capacity from both renewable and fossil fuel sources. Japan’s electric utilities have been investing huge amounts of capital in power infrastructure, resulting in advanced capabilities in transmission infrastructure and power delivery services; however, the tragic March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting Fukushima nuclear accident are likely to redefine not only Japan’s smart grid planning, but perhaps the direction of the nation’s utility industry. Korea seeks to leverage its technology leadership in the IT and communications space to form an advanced smart grid infrastructure within the country, as well as an opportunity to export smart grid technologies around the world. Significant and influential smart grid projects are also underway in Australia, India, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.”
Bae adds that transmission upgrades will be the largest application category within the region, representing 54% of total smart grid investment between now and 2017. Distribution automation and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) will also be key applications, capturing 18% and 15% of total spending, respectively.
In another finding by Pike Research it was reported that in the first quarter of 2011 (1Q11) global smart meter shipment volumes totaled 17.4 million units. According to that report, 70% of these shipments were in China due to a massive rollout by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). Excluding China, global smart meter shipments totaled nearly 5.3 million units, with more than two-thirds of these occurring in North America.