Smart grid technologies are often touted as essential to efforts to increase renewable energy production, yet this aspect of the smart grid is the least developed. According to a new report from Pike Research, this situation will change over the next several years, creating a significant expansion of the market opportunity for smart grid technologies that enable the integration of renewables. Revenue from smart grid renewables integration will reach almost $4 billion in 2012, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts, and climb to $13 billion by 2018. The sector’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over those six years will be nearly 23%.
The track record of smart grid renewables integration to date reflects both some success and some failure. Despite European countries boldly ploughing forward, many U.S. utilities exhibit a fear of change linked to greater reliance upon intermittent renewable energy resources. However, that is set to change as many utilities launch comprehensive programs and place significant investments in the ability of the smart grid to lower the costs of integrating renewable generation at the transmission, distribution, and residential levels.
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