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Looking into the future of smart grids

/18th April 2013, By Neha Vikash, Energy & Power Systems Group of Frost & Sullivan/ Advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) technologies are a cornerstone and one of the most visible elements of the smart grid, writes Frost & Sullivan’s Neha Vikash. Overall, the AMI market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26.9% and revenues are forecast to reach $3.7 billion in 2016.

The utility industry is in the midst of grid modernisation efforts to bring a secure, cost-effective, environmentally compatible power grid that can be tackled by intelligent solutions and innovative technologies.

Utilities in Europe have begun to feel increased legislative pressures to transform the existing grid infrastructures to intelligent or smart grid infrastructures. This transformation involves sectors with utmost potential such as advanced metering infrastructure, distributed generation integration, sensors, advanced transmission technologies and electric vehicles.

The next generation of metering and data-exchange technologies, known as advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) technologies are a cornerstone and one of the most visible elements of the smart grid. Member states, such as the Scandinavian countries and Italy have taken early smart metering moves for a nationwide roll-out.

Smart meters have been introduced as a means to modernise the grids and to bring about operational changes such as reduce nontechnical losses, introduce remote reading and switching or simplify the billing procedures. Europe is now gradually drifting towards introduction of the latest generation advanced metering infrastructure technologies and the integration of information and communication technologies, to best support the strategic objectives in development of smart grids and the benefits sought over time. Read more ...