According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the market for smart grid technologies that help integrate renewable energy sources will expand steadily over the next six years. Revenue from smart grid renewables integration will grow from $3.8 billion in 2012 to just under $13 billion in 2018, the study concludes.
The time horizons for widespread commercialisation of these technologies vary widely, according to the report. Demand response, for example, has been offered in some forms by utilities and grid operators for many decades, while clear business models for advanced energy storage have yet to be
“For all the talk of the challenges of bringing increasing amounts of distributed, renewable energy sources onto the power grid, in reality there is no consensus on the exact effects of renewables integration on grid operations,” says senior research analyst Peter Asmus. “What we do know is that the fundamental architecture of today’s electricity grid – based on the idea of a top-down system predicated on unidirectional energy flows – is becoming obsolete, and is unsuited for the increasing diversity and variability of power generation. Microgrids, VPPs, and other smart grid technologies represent the vanguard of a new business model that echoes, in many ways, the diversity and modularity of our rich telecommunications networks.”
The smart grid movement encompasses a range of technologies that will help utilities and grid operators integrate renewable energy assets, including microgrids, dynamic pricing systems, advanced energy storage, and virtual power plants (VPPs). Millions of dollars are being invested in the ability of the smart grid to lower the costs of integrating renewable generation at the transmission, distribution, and residential levels of energy service provision. To date the success rate of these efforts has been mixed.
Pike Research’s report, “Smart Grid Renewables Integration”, examines current thinking and practices with regard to a series of smart grid technologies, policies, and applications designed to help integrate large penetration levels of renewable energy into power systems around the world.
The study provides market capacity and revenue forecasts for the following technologies: static VAR compensators; synchrophasors; transmission, distribution and residential advanced energy storage systems; demand response; virtual power plants and microgrids. Key industry players are profiled, including SWOT analysis of their market positions, and regional market forecasts for each key segment extend through 2018.