Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- June 23, 2011 - South America’s smart meter market is expected to reach 104.5 million meters and $25.1 billion by 2020, and other smart grid technologies – including distribution automation – will also grow quickly in the region, according to the Northeast Group’s regional market forecast for the coming decade.

Brazil will be first to begin large-scale deployments. Chile and Argentina will be next to follow, with other countries set to launch deployments in the latter half of the decade.

“The South America region exhibits several market conditions attractive for smart grid development compared with other emerging market regions such as Asia,” according to the Northeast Group, LLC. “These include per capita energy consumption and non-technical loss rates higher than Asia, as well as enormous potential for distributed generation. All are key drivers of smart grid, yet South America has lagged behind other emerging markets. This is about to change as governments in the region begin to take action in developing regulatory frameworks to encourage smart grid.”

Brazil is the leading country in South America with a smart grid regulatory framework in development and attractive market conditions. Brazil's actions are expected to lay the groundwork for deployments in neighboring countries throughout the decade. Aging grid infrastructure and rapidly growing energy demand mean that large scale investment will be necessary to maintain regional GDP growth of more than 4 percent in the medium term.