Market pause? More like a smart grid market explosion, says researcher


Quick Take: As I roamed the aisles at this year's DistribuTECH conference, I pondered a conundrum. On the one hand, people feel the smart grid market has plateaued because the smart meter-focused stimulus funds have come and gone from the U.S. On the other hand, the aisles were full of utility buyers and the booths were full of exciting new products and services -- more new announcements than I've ever seen.


ABI research says the latter viewpoint is more accurate. In fact, according to the report described below, utility smart grid spending nearly doubled in 2012. According to ABI, spending on T&D gear more than made up for any slowdown in the smart meter segment. -- Jesse Berst


Spending by utilities transitioning their networks to smart grid capabilities reached $23.68 billion in 2012, according to ABI. And that number highlights growing momentum behind the spending - ABI says last year's total alone represents 48% of smart grid spending to date. Here are more findings from ABI's  Utilities and Smart Grids report:


·         Spending in 2012 was up 47.1% from $16.10 billion in 2011

·         Spending on T&D capabilities surpassed smart meter investments as utilities increasingly looked to improve their core networks and maximize the benefits of AMI deployments

·         Smart grid investments and spending will continue to grow over the next five years to reach $80.8 billion during 2018

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