Austin, TX, U.S.A. --- (METERNG.COM) --- February 8, 2012 - Over 52 million U.S. smart meters will be installed by the end of 2012 according to Zpryme’s Smart Grid Executive Survey 2012.

According to the findings, this past year more vendors than ever deployed smart meters across the U.S., and 8 out of 10 executives believe overall utility smart grid investments will continue to rise in 2012. However, there is the caveat that federal stimulus spending has propelled the smart grid – almost 9 out of 10 executives believe that federal government support (grants, loans or subsidies) is “very important” to the development of the smart grid.

According to Zpryme 2012 will be the “Year of the Smart Grid Shakeout,” as small to mid-tier companies will have their coffers dried due to the lengthy sales cycle associated with the utility industry.

However, the overall U.S. smart grid value chain is cautiously optimistic for long term growth. Companies such as Siemens, GE, and ABB will be heavy hitters in investment for the overall smart grid with start-ups and mid-tier companies leading the way in analytics, energy management, security and energy storage. With Duke Energy having allocated $1 billion for deployment efforts with other utilities such as PG&E, and South California serving up major multi-million dollar investments, the overall U.S. smart grid value chain is more than optimistic for long term growth – industry segments such as energy storage, cyber security, network management software, and analytics will be key growth areas for 2012/13.

With electric vehicles not quite making a direct impact and the smart home still an industry aspiration, the driving force for the smart grid in the U.S. will be AMI and communications, with distribution automation being the ever constant backbone, said Zpryme. Companies such as IBM, GE, Itron, Cisco, and Telvent will make the most immediate impact in 2012.