Smart cities to generate $100 billion in revenue for utilities


Utilities around the world are becoming increasingly integrated with smart city deployments, driven by the need to generate new revenue opportunities.

A new report from Navigant Research examines global smart city business opportunities for utilities, providing market forecasts, segmented by region and smart city technology type, through 2027.

Smart city applications such as electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and services, smart street lighting, smart buildings, distributed energy resources (DER), and smart city communication networks all offer significant new business opportunities for utilities.

“With increasing energy efficiency and utilisation of DER cutting into their bottom line, utilities must position themselves as innovators and generate new revenue streams to remain profitable in the 21st century,” says Ryan Citron, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.

“Smart cities represent a significant opportunity for utilities to develop new business lines, extend their partner ecosystems, and establish new bonds with local communities.”

While utility interest and involvement in smart city deployments is increasing, several key barriers to greater market participation remain, according to the report.

These barriers include regulatory challenges, utility business culture and organisational structure, technical and operational challenges, and the lack of a business case for some smart city applications.

The configuration of these challenges is unique to each utility given its history, location, culture, and current asset base. However, there are many lessons to learn from early leaders already establishing their footprint in the smart cities market.

The report, Utility Opportunities in Smart Cities, analyses the global smart city business opportunities for utilities. The study focuses on smart city use cases such as EV charging, smart street lighting, smart buildings, DER, and smart city communication networks.

It includes a study of regional trends, utility case studies, and key barriers and opportunities in the market.