Smart Grid Market Revenue Will Hit $73 Billion Annually By 2020

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

If you’re placing bets on which sector of the clean energy industry is primed for the strongest growth, you may want to slide a few more chips toward the smart grid.

Smart grid global revenue
Smart grid market revenue growth chart via Navigant Research

Smart grid technology is already a “colossal market” with $33 billion in global revenue in 2012, but it’s set to more than double by the end of this decade and hit $73 billion in annual revenue by 2020, according to a new Navigant Research report.

While any industry would gladly take a 10% annual growth rate, Navigant’s outlook may even underestimate smart grid market growth, because both the $73 billion annual revenue and 10% growth rate estimates don’t include Africa or the grid needs of its 1 billion people.

Unlike many other clean energy industries, smart grid’s growth underscores the diversity of its applications, which empower different technologies to lead different geographic markets depending on local energy network needs. Even in a single region, individual countries may have different local conditions, leading to a different smart grid application leading that market.

North America, Asia Pacific Lead On Transmission Growth

Navigant predicts the two largest smart grid technology markets will be located in North America and Asia-Pacific, spurred on by the drive to increase transmission infrastructure. Global transmission upgrades will represent nearly $250 million in revenue by 2020, more than half the overall market.

High voltage power lines
High voltage transmission lines image via Shutterstock

In North America, for instance, a substantial increase in high-voltage direct current transmission lines are boosting overall grid spending as a way to integrate large amounts of renewable electricity from remote generation locations onto the grid and reach large demand load centers like cities or industrial areas. North America is also expected to dominate microgrid growth through 2020.

An opposite trend is happening in many developing countries, where the focus is on building high-voltage transmission to get energy from newly built generation assets to new load centers that simply didn’t exist until recently. This trend is seen in India, China, Brazil, and Chile, where governments are trying to keep up with economic and population growth in areas accustomed to low electrification rates.

Smart Meter Market Volatility Belies Benefits

Beyond the overall increase in transmission projects, smart meters will also be an industry driver, but with much more volatility and uneven growth rates. Navigant notes North America’s smart meter market “has entered a valley” because US stimulus funds spending has ended and the next anticipated wave of meter spending from small utilities has not yet begun.

Residential smart meter
Residential smart meter image via Shutterstock

However in Europe, smart metering is growing strong. Western European countries are focusing on smart meters as a way to meet clean energy mandates like those in the European Union’s 2020 climate goals, while Eastern European countries are investing in smart meters as a way to reduce high energy theft rates.

Boosting Smart Grid Revenue And System Reliability?

Add it all up, and Navigant predicts smart grid technologies will generate $461 billion in cumulative revenue from 2013 to 2020. But even all this growth still won’t saturate the market – many countries with populations greater than 100 million have seen little or no smart grid market growth, meaning as one market matures another will open up for investment.

Perhaps most promising though, is the potential for smart grid technologies to enhance existing energy systems to make them cleaner and more efficient while lowering the overall price tag. “Smart grid technologies improve the reliability and efficiency of the power grid via the application of modern IT capabilities alongside, or in place of existing utility assets and networks,” said Bob Lockhart of Navigant.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

One thought on “Smart Grid Market Revenue Will Hit $73 Billion Annually By 2020

  • Investing in sustainable development is a growing market. is one of few companies in the world delivering combiproducts within solar energy,clean water solutions and waste management. Our organisation is always working on new and more effective renewable products.
    Renewable energy is going rule the globe in maby 100 years, and that´s why EAWC Technologies is getting ready securing their position in the marked !

Comments are closed.