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Smart meters to cross $200B in 2015

Posted: 06 Dec 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart meter? electrical storage system? power grid?

IC Insights has forecasted that worldwide spending on smart grid technologies will reach nearly $100 billion this year, and annual investments are predicted to approach $196.9 billion in 2015. According to the market research firm, the figures cover the smart grid infrastructure, electrical storage systems, smart meters and information technology investments, and exclude renewable energy systems, power plants and 'smart' home appliances.

Smart grids can communicate with energy-efficient buildings and 'smart' home appliances to save electricity costs and automatically balance loads (consumption) with the output of existing power plants and the network's overall capacity. Future grids will employ distributed electrical-energy storage systems to handle peak-demand periods while lowering the need for additional power plants. In addition, smart power grids are also being designed to accommodate large-scale recharging of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid gasoline/electric cars later this decade. Smart power grid technologies are also necessary to add new renewable energy sources to the public electricity networks such as solar-photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.

smart grid

New 'smart' household systems and home area networks are being equipped with AMI interfaces to the power grid's smart meters.�With these interfaces, home appliances and other residential systems will have the ability to automatically schedule and adjust their operations and energy use based on variable electricity rates and the preferences of owners.

Smart meters and connected energy-aware home and business systems promise to be a huge new marketplace for semiconductors, especially MCUs and embedded processors, analog mixed-signal devices, radio-frequency ICs, power discretes and transistors, non-volatile flash memories and communications ICs.�A number of IC suppliers are offering application-specific SoC solutions for smart meters and AMI-connected systems such as smart household appliances, smart wall plugs, sub-meters, intelligent thermostats and energy management systems.

Worldwide revenues for semiconductors in smart meters are forecast to become nearly a $1.1 billion market in 2015 compared to $524 million last year. This constitutes a 2010-2015 CAGR of 15.3 percent.

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