Utility Spending on Smart Grid IT Systems Will Reach Nearly $20 Billion by 2022, Forecasts Navigant Research

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The expectations for the many smart grid projects that have rolled out over the last few years are high.

January 6, 2014 – Boulder, CO – Yet, without intelligence and systems that know what to do with the data generated, the smart grid is just a more expensive version of the conventional grid. Information technology (IT) – through software solutions that are integrated across a utility’s operational silos – makes the smart grid “smart.” A bewildering array of utility IT solutions has emerged to meet these needs, but the challenge to acquire, integrate, and maintain these systems is formidable. According to a new report from Navigant Research, utility spending on IT systems for the smart grid will grow from $8.5 billion in 2013 to $19.7 billion in 2022.

“The acquisition and integration of new and upgraded IT systems for electric utilities presents one of the greatest challenges faced by the industry today—but also an unprecedented opportunity,” says Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Utilities can now have not only granular data about the status of their network components and customers, but also the ability to quickly and appropriately react to that data. Utilities will need to carefully choose which systems they implement, in what order, and ensure that there is seamless integration across departments and field crews in order to maximize this potential.”

One challenge for this market is the sheer volume of data that new sensing and automation devices will deliver. That information must be stored and analyzed, as well as shared with a variety of IT systems. This is an expensive proposition – good for vendors, but less so for utilities, according to the report. Utilities may also be challenged to obtain approval from regulators that are reluctant to approve large investments with limited real-world examples of measurable benefits to ratepayers.

The report, “Smart Grid IT Systems”, provides a comprehensive overview of the global market for utility smart grid IT systems. The study discusses the potential benefits and challenges to utilities deploying new IT systems and describes a dozen major utility IT applications. Global market forecasts for utility smart grid IT systems, segmented by category (software purchases and upgrades, software maintenance fees, services, and SaaS), application, and region, extend through 2022. The report also provides in-depth profiles of numerous vendors and systems integrators involved in the utility smart grid IT space. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

About Navigant Research

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at www.navigantresearch.com.

About Navigant

Navigant is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at www.navigant.com.

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Smart Grid IT Systems,” is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

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