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utilities' smart grid infrastructure
Smart Grid  
25 January 2016

Smart grid infrastructure investments reach US$226bn by 2025

According to a new report smart grid infrastructure investments in emerging markets are expected to reach US$226bn by 2025, according to Northeast Group.

The report analyzing smart grid infrastructure markets of 50 emerging economies including Brazil, Egypt and Mexico, states that a number of large-scale tender announcements made in 2015 is a key driver of growth in smart grid infrastructure investments in 2016 through to 2026.

Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group commented: “The fifth edition of our annual study found that previous smart grid regulatory progress and pilot projects are now leading to large-scale deployments.”

Northeast Group forecasts that the majority of investments will be in smart metering, distribution automation, wide area measurement, home energy management, information technology and battery storage.

Smart metering (AMI) tenders amounting to over US$1m announced in 2015 will mean that investment in AMI in 2016 will be twice as much as they were in 2015.

Smart grid infrastructure in Central America

The release of the global smart grid infrastructure outlook follows Northeast Group's release of another report - "Central America & Caribbean Smart Grid: Market Forecast 2015 – 2025 during Q1 2015."

According to the study, the firm found that Central America and the Caribbean have plans to invest US$3.3 billion in smart grid infrastructure over the next 10 years.

The report stated that the investments in smart grid infrastructure is part of region's plans to lower the high cost of electricity by using more renewable energy and tackling high non-technical losses. 

Gardner said: “The Central America and Caribbean region is endowed with a wealth of untapped renewable energy resources. Smart grid infrastructure investment is critical to incorporating solar, wind and other renewables into the existing grid.

“Additionally, the region’s transmission and distribution losses average nearly 20%, largely due to rampant electricity theft. This is among the worst rates in the world, behind only Africa and South.Incorporating more renewable generation capacity and reducing losses can help bring down the region’s high electricity prices.”

The region must overcome several barriers to smart grid investment however, cautioned the study. Chief among these is a crime and violence, as security challenges will likely put pressure on power infrastructure progress in the region.

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