N. America: 9.1% market growth, communications infrastructure for digital grid

Metering.com 5 FEBRUARY 2018

Energy market intelligence firm Frost & Sullivan forecasts the market for Digital Grid Communication Infrastructure in North America will increase by 9.1% per annum between 2016 and 2023.

The market is expected to generate $1 billion in revenue by 2023.

According to the research company, utilities in North America will increasingly deploy smart communication devices to make use of grid edge intelligence in order to improve the efficiency of transmission and distribution assets through real time and remote operation.

Adhering to open protocols and standards will ensure interoperability of products across vendors and the possibility of future system expansion. Communication-as-a-service will provide a cost-effective alternative to utilities, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Other key findings include:

  • Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) application continuing to drive the demand for wireless communication devices in the short and medium terms, and emerging applications such as edge intelligence will boost demand and dominate wireless technology applications in the long term;
  • Double-digit growth of grid intelligence using wireless technologies;
  • Rapid development in the wireless market from 2020 due to 5G rollout out bringing down cost of migration; and
  • Increase in deployment of wired technology devices due to progression in distribution and substation automation.

Farah Saeed, programme leader of Digital Grids at Frost & Sullivan, said: “The rapidly changing market environment demands flexibility in the communications infrastructure.

“With a forward-looking market, vendors should develop a compelling business model like the communication-as-a-service model to improve bottom-line results for end users.”With rapid developments in smart grid technology in North America, inherent cyber vulnerabilities will push for utilities to upgrade or overhaul their communications infrastructure.

“Strategic partnerships and mergers will further stimulate product and service development, and address the challenges for utilities of managing multiple vendors for individual applications.”