Report: Smart grid and consumer dynamics

New York, June 30, 2010 — The latest report by SBI Energy investigates the dynamics of the relationship between the smart grid and the end users of electricity.

“The “Ëœconsumer factor’ is coming to the forefront of smart grid engineering,” says David Cappello, SBI Energy analyst and author of the report. “By focusing on the consumer sector of the smart grid, an area largely unexplored and often ignored in smart grid analysis, our study provides unique insights into the consumer mindset and shows how different it is from the industry’s perspective.”

The paradox of the smart grid industry is that in the roll-out of smart grid meters, sensors, appliances, and other components, consumers have yet to be fully informed even though they are the key to smart grid success.

Some consumers don’t even know that the smart grid exists! Nevertheless, consumers are keenly concerned about energy costs and energy options as it impacts them personally. This indicates a solid base on which to build consumer support for the smart grid, according to SBI Energy.

“The smart grid will never work without active consumer engagement, which is why a report such as ours is so important. It evaluates the potential for consumer engagement against current attitudes of general unfamiliarity, indifference, and even downright resistance,” says SBI Energy Publisher Shelley Carr.

SBI Energy estimates the overall global smart grid market at $90 billion for 2010, an increase of 30 percent over 2009.

The U.S. market is estimated at $26 billion for 2010, a rise of 12 percent. SBI Energy also projects the global smart grid market will increase 150 percent between 2009-2014, reaching $171 billion by the end of the forecast period. The U.S. market is projected to double over the timeframe to about $43 billion by 2014.

About 80 percent of the global smart grid’s current estimated value represents investment on the utility side in grid infrastructure and information and communications technology (ICT). The consumer applications and software sector—primarily smart meters—represents the remaining 20 percent.

“The consumer sector will undoubtedly grow in share in coming years,” says Cappello.


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