What is Smart, Green and Worth $65 Billion?

power grid sunset photo

Photo via James JHS

The Smart Grid industry. The move to a smart grid is inevitable and experts estimate that the current $42 billion market for smart grid technologies, from software to hardware, from energy generation to energy storage, will grow to $65 billion by 2013.

But the kind of investment needed to see huge growth is equally as enormous. From Lux Research:

Alternative power and energy storage technologies are tied together by the smart grid, which is leading the evolution of the current doddering power grid into a nimble and intelligent power web.

Alternative power and energy storage covers a range of technologies and market segments. However, taken together, these segments add up to a $42 billion market in 2008, and will grow at 9.1% CAGR to $65 billion in 2013.

While VC investments and IPOs have been down, smart-grid technologies are still getting lots of attention. Material shortage worries are mostly overblown, but uncertainty in financing for necessary scale-up projects will led to price volatility.

As we know, the smart grid is essentially a much more efficient way to get power to consumers, monitor the use of utilities, and charge effectively for its use. Smart grids also have the potential to seriously green up how we use energy. And while smart grids aren’t up and running in many places yet, everyone knows that conversion is a necessity and getting started sooner is better.

But that means really, really big investments. From Earth2Tech:

As utilities in the U.S. are set to add nearly 40 gigawatts of clean energy generation by 2030, spurred by state mandates, the grid will need an upgrade to withstand the change. A recent report from the North American Electric Reliability (NERC) said that a lack of investment in the proper transmission infrastructure to accompany the increase of green power will result in an unreliable power grid. The Brattle Group predicts that to build out the power grid, including transmission lines, will need a $2 trillion investment, and Al Gore is calling for an investment of $400 billion over 10 years to build a national smart grid.

A $65 billion industry is good news for a struggling economy, and such a necessary boost to an industry means more green jobs, better energy prices, and that much more hope for the future of our planet via clean energy. Lets just hope we get the investments we need to make it happen.

Via Greener Computing
More on Smart Grid Industry:
Building Smart Grid Systems: Is Your Neighborhood on Board?
Boulder, Colorado: First to Have a Smart Grid?
SMART 2020 Report: Smart Grids Can Cut CO2 Emissions by 15 Percent

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