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T&D World: Smart Meters Make a Comeback, While Energy Storage and Microgrids Surge

Posted by Bob Keough on Oct 1, 2019

Transmission and Distribution World published this third column in a four-part series by AEE's Bob Keough summarizing AEE's 2019 Market Report findings. Read excerpts below and the entire T&D World piece here. 

According to the Advanced Energy Now 2019 Market Reportwithin the electricity delivery and management segment of advanced energy, it is noteworthy that advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) had two big revenue years in the United States recently, jumping 65% in 2017, to US$1.4 billion, and holding roughly steady in 2018. Smart meters and related infrastructure are foundational for much innovation in the electric power sector, including reforms like time-of-use rates.

But revenue from deployments of this equipment had tapered off from the 2011 to 2012 level of nearly US$1.7 billion a year, when utility investments were driven by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Spending on AMI reached a low of US$860 million in 2016, but in the past two years, AMI deployment has had a bit of a revival.

Even more noteworthy is the fastest growth in this segment — which totaled US$135 billion worldwide and US$21.3 billion in the United States in 2018 — over the past five years has been in energy storage. This market started at a low base, but revenue has multiplied eight-fold over the seven-year period, recording double-digit gains in 2017 and 2018 in both U.S. and world markets. Worldwide revenue for energy storage has grown from US$462 million in 2014 to US$2.4 billion in 2018. In the United States, energy storage revenue has climbed from US$58 million to US$701 million over the past five years.

Over the past year, renewables-plus-storage projects were largely the driving force behind new announcements. One of the more interesting projects announced in 2018 was a lithium ion (Li-ion) battery being developed at India’s first-ever wind and solar hybrid project. Hero Future Energies, the owner/operator of the project, stated that the hybrid plant has seen extremely good wind production and consequently must curtail solar because of capacity constraints on the local grid. The Li-ion battery will help mitigate the need for curtailment. If all goes as planned on this pilot project, then the company will retrofit older renewable projects as well as include a storage component in all new projects...

Read the entire T&D World piece here. 

Topics: United In The News