Research Says Smart Grids Are Key to Global Sustainability

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October 4, 2021

A new study from Juniper Research in England estimates global smart grid deployments will lead to annual energy savings of 1,060 terawatt-hours by 2026 — a significant increase from 316 terawatt-hours in 2021. That amount is equivalent to powering over 42 million 90-minute football matches at Wembley stadium.

The research identified increased sustainability and energy security as critical to the appeal of smart grids, with analytics and demand-responsive networks able to have a dramatic impact in a renewables-heavy future. According to the report, vendors that can best combine analytics that deliver operational insights to energy companies, with low-cost sensors and connectivity, will achieve the greatest success.

The new research, Smart Grid: Industry Trends, Competitor Leaderboard and Market Forecasts 2021-2026, found that smart grid software, which analyses energy usage in real-time to enable responsive features for utility companies, will be critical to delivering energy and cost savings. These benefits will drive smart grid software spend to over $38 billion annually by 2026, up from $12 billion in 2021.

Research co-author Damla Sat explained, “To meet ambitious climate targets and lower spiraling operating costs for utility companies, the grid must evolve rapidly into a smart grid. Leveraging connectivity and deploying analytics at scale will be vital in achieving the truly demand-responsive grid that is needed today.”

The research found that smart metering roll-outs are growing, with global smart meters in service set to reach over 2 billion in 2026, up from 1.1 billion in 2021. While this represents growth of just under 95 percent, adoption is very uneven worldwide, with markets including Latin America and Africa & Middle East lagging significantly behind the leaders in Western Europe and the Far East & China. The research recommends that vendors lobby governments to support smart metering roll-outs, or risk falling further behind.

To download Juniper’s white paper on these research findings, click here

 

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