Smart grid capital spending up, but operations and maintenance budgets threatened


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: Newton-Evans has released an early preview of its forthcoming survey on smart grid investment plans. They have surveyed utilities in 24 countries and plan to release the final report in July. Early results show some interesting findings. We've put the release below for your study. Here are some of the highlights:


·         Capex up for transmission and distribution automation (protection and control), mostly motivated by mandates

·         Capex level for advanced metering infrastructure

·         Opex down for distribution networks

·         71% will start a new smart grid project within two years (and nearly 60% of those will be distribution automation)  - By Jesse Berst


The Newton-Evans Research Company has released preliminary findings from its fifth study in the multi-year tracking research program looking into electric power utility CAPEX budgets related to smart grid investments and infrastructure spending plans.


Early findings from utilities in 24 countries that have already participated in the May-June 2013 Newton-Evans global tracking study of electric power transmission and distribution investment indicate that 43% of utilities plan to increase their capital expenditures for 2013 on EMS/SCADA/OMS. Half plan on increasing CAPEX spending in 2013 for protection and control, and 55% plan on increasing transmission infrastructure CAPEX. AMR/AMI seems to be leveling out; 63% of respondents so far said there will be no change from 2012 spending on this.




O&M budgets for 2013 reflect a somewhat different story. Most categories of O&M spending were less likely to see an increase from the budgets of 2012. Distribution infrastructure appears to be the key victim, with 17% of the respondents indicating a lower figure budgeted for 2012 O&M expense for distribution network operations and maintenance activities.


Over one-half of the utilities responding so far (58%) indicated that "Yes," regulatory mandates are the reason for CAPEX increases indicated for 2013. Only 13% cited government stimulus as a reason for increases in 2013 CAPEX.


Seventy-one percent of responding utilities have mentioned that they plan to start a new smart grid project in the upcoming two years, and 59% of those projects will include some form of distribution automation.


The new 2013 edition will include information about relative market trends and market size estimates for major smart grid building blocks, including transmission and distribution network control systems, protection and control systems, substation automation and integration, distribution automation, advanced metering infrastructure, cybersecurity as well as for transmission and distribution infrastructure.

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