Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Smart grid IT software market to hit $142bn by 2024, says Navigant Research

Steve Rogerson
September 9, 2015
The global market for smart grid IT software and services is expected to total $142bn from 2014 to 2024, according to Navigant Research. Growing demand for mobile connectivity among the utility workforce is helping to drive the market, the report found.
As power grid operators and managers address the growing challenges of stability and reliability to the grid, modern IT systems are increasingly being leveraged to automate control and maintenance functions and to engage more efficiently with customers. These systems are expected to represent a significant portion of smart grid investment over the next decade as utilities look to take advantage of the granular data they provide.
“Platforms like mobile devices and social media are helping to deliver information to utility managers in a way that has never been possible before,” said Richelle Elberg, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “The information and accessibility these new IT systems provide are giving utilities a newfound ability to improve efficiency, reduce their costs and interact with their customers.”
According to the report, utilities are increasingly requiring field and office workers to have access to system data wherever they go. This change is being driven by utilities’ desire for heightened productivity and improved workflow management among workers in the field, and it is assisted by the growing presence of broadband networks and the use of smartphones and tablets, all of which are helping the market to expand.
The report provides an overview of the global market for utility smart grid IT systems. The study discusses the potential benefits and challenges to utilities deploying IT systems and describes a dozen major utility IT applications.
Global market forecasts for utility smart grid IT software and services – segmented by category (software purchases and upgrades, software maintenance fees, services, and software as a service, or SaaS), application and region – extend through 2024. The report also provides profiles of vendors involved in the utility smart grid IT space.
• The global remote terminal unit (RTU) in smart grid market is to grow at a CAGR of 5.18 per cent from 2014 to 2019, according to a report from Wise Guy Reports.
An RTU is a control device that helps the master device (scada) monitor and communicate with grid devices placed across different geographical locations. They can be used in a wide variety of electrical and process automation devices where scada is required to monitor and control equipment. RTUs are used to collect data from equipment in the field and to transmit commands back from the master device. This can be done through wired connections (telephone lines, cables and Ethernet) or wireless connections. The data are sent to the operators in real time so they are aware of the situation and can carry out any necessary changes to the grid.
RTUs are used in substations to increase automation, leading to better distribution of power and correction of any anomalies that can result in loss of power during transmission and distribution, reduction in damage to equipment, and improvement in quality and reliability. RTUs can be used to monitor and control water treatment and distribution plants, power transmission and distribution, and oil and gas pipelines.
Key vendorsinclude ABB, General Electric, Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Iskra Sistemi, Kimcheon, Prestigious Discovery, PT Arliscoputra Hantama, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Top Rank.