Energy grids across the world are about to get a lot smarter, according to a recent report from Global Market Insights, a Delaware-based trend research firm.
Smart grids incorporate digital technology that allows two-way communication from power suppliers to consumers. Smart grid networks provide real-time monitoring of electricity consumption, the ability to make adjustments for greater efficiency, and lower operational throughout the supply infrastructure.
Driving this upward trend of smart grid implementation is aging electrical infrastructure, favorable government regulations, emerging technologies such as real-time monitoring with customer load control, and increasing demand for renewable energy sources.
Also, a robust expansion in use of smart meters will boost the need for smart grids with advanced metering infrastructure. Such meters add to the reliability and efficiency of energy consumption, providing savings to customers and greater manageability for energy suppliers, according to the Global Market Insights research.
The June report includes forecast through 2024 and states that smart grid technology already represents a significant investment worldwide. Research cited from the International Energy Agency estimates global investments in digital electricity infrastructure at more than $50 billion in 2017.
Improved energy efficiency will also drive continued development of smart grids, which will enable utilities to provide energy-saving services and information to consumers. Smart grids also lower outage response duration and allow for easier integration of renewable energy.
As the current grid infrastructure ages, energy providers are replacing it with smart grid projects. In 2017, the U.S. smart grid market was worth more than $3 billion. Natural disasters and unplanned power outages also boosted the implementation of smart grids.