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Smart grid sector set for meteoric growth

By Max Burkhalter
June 21, 2013

You know how sometimes you will hear about a new or emerging technology that everybody says is set for market expansion, but it never seems to really get anywhere? The smart grid isn't one such solution. Instead, the smart gridhas a huge market and is growing extremely quickly. A recent study from Navigant Research found that the smart grid market is currently set to expand by a compound annual growth rate of approximately 10 percent between now and 2020. That substantial growth figure does not take many markets into account, pointing to even more expansion potential moving forward.

Looking at smart grid market growth
The study found that the smart grid sector reached a total value of approximately $33 billion in 2012. This makes the smart grid sector a fairly large industry that provides plenty of opportunities. By 2020, the smart grid segment will likely be valued at $73 billion. That level of market expansion is fairly substantial, but what may be even more telling is how limited the projection is.

While the study was a global effort, it is limited from a time perspective. Navigant explained that there are many nations with populations greater than 100 million that have not embarked on smart grid projects. At the same time, most of Africa is also still moving toward the smart grid, with projects not likely to begin until the latter portion of the time covered by the study, or even after 2020. This points to the long-term viability of the smart grid market's growth, as it will likely continue to expand well beyond the end of the study's coverage period.

Furthermore, the study found that the smart grid sector has grown so large that it is not dependent on a small number of drivers. Instead, there are a diverse range of conditions pointing toward smart grid investments.

Moving from investment to deployment
Making the transition from financial and technological planning to actual implementation can prove challenging in the smart grid sector. Terminal servers can ease many of the deployment burdens because they enable companies to overcome interoperability gaps in the smart grid. This can contribute to cost-efficient network and device installation, positioning utility providers to establish the advanced grid architecture efficiently and maximize revenue potential. As a result, cost-efficient terminal server systems can go a long way toward easing smart grid deployment.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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