The Focus on Smart Meters Is A "Red Herring"

redherringWhile I was edumacating attendees of our “Biggest Opportunities of the Smart Grid” webinar this morning (for subscribers to GigaOM Pro), I learned a great deal from Pike Research analyst Clint Wheelock, who gave an overview of the market on the call. Most interesting to me was that out of a predicted massive investment in smart grid infrastructure — estimated at $210 billion between 2010 to 2015, according to Pike Research — smart meters will actually play a pretty small part of the market: just 11 percent of the total smart grid revenue opportunity.

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“The focus on smart meters is a red herring,” explained Wheelock in the webinar this morning. Given all the attention surrounding utilities rolling out smart meters, I thought it was interesting that revenues from smart meters trailed other smart grid sectors like transmission infrastructure and distribution automation. And revenues from smart meters actually just tied the demand response market, and barely beat out the revenues from substation automation. Wheelock pointed out on the call that utilities will get a better return on their investment for those technologies like distribution automation, and additional transmission capacity compared to smart meters.

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Images courtesy of Pike Research and Flickr Creative Commons.

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