Southeast Asia is hotting up as a smart grid growth region as electricity demand and GDP are both projected to boom, according to new research from US company Northeast Group.
By 2024, Southeast Asian countries will likely have electricity demand profiles similar to some Latin American and Eastern European countries where large-scale smart meter deployments are already being carried out, the study finds.
As a region, Southeast Asia has the highest projected GDP growth rate of all emerging smart grid markets, outside of China and India, with countries in the area with the exception of developed Singapore seeing GDP growth rates average above 5 per cent per year up to 2018.
Smart grid in development
The research finds that smart grid projects are underway in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand and investment should total US$13.6 billion between 2014 and 2024.
Sectors that will benefit include smart metering and the modernization of electricity transmission and distribution networks with sensors, communications and software.
Regulation supporting smart grids
Compared with a previous iteration of the report, released two years ago, the report's authors note that the Philippines [Smart grid framework and roadmap in Philippines] and Thailand [Thailand – looking towards smart grid] have been particularly strong in implementing new stronger regulations for smart grid development.
Northeast Group said: "Countries that are currently looking more towards renewable energy and energy efficiency are likely to set regulatory frameworks to support smart grid in the near term.
"These regulations are likely both because of the direct role that smart grid infrastructure plays in supporting these programmes, and because these programmes are leading indicators of governments that will look to smart grid infrastructure as a solution to growing challenges."