Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 18, 2010 – More than $2.75 billion is expected to be spent in the U.S. in 2010 on smart grid products in the core sub-sectors of advanced metering, demand response, and distribution grid management, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Further, the market for spending on services in these markets is likely to be equal if not greater to this estimate of product spending.
The report, 2010 U.S. Smart Grid Vendor Ecosystem, was prepared to document the companies and market dynamics shaping the current smart grid landscape in the U.S.
According to the report the smart grid vendor ecosystem is an increasingly interdependent web of companies. However, the vendors of AMI products (meters, communication units, and related software) have emerged as leaders in establishing cross-industry partnerships. Investments in AMI infrastructure have catalyzed new working relationships throughout the industry.
There is strong “coopetition” playing out in the market between vertically integrated vendors and product specialists. Market dynamics are being reshaped by the entrance of new technologies and new companies. This results in vendor cooperation on some projects and competition on others. Acquisitions and consolidation are increasing and will continue to shape the landscape in the coming years. Large, established, global companies are expanding product portfolios to stretch across smart grid categories with the goal of providing end-to-end solutions to utilities and other large customers.
The smart grid vendor landscape is also more mature and geographically diverse than may be commonly thought. The market is populated not only by venture-backed startups, but by established public, and private companies. Many of these firms have substantial legacy businesses and are working to adapt to new, smart grid market requirements. In addition, while venture-backed companies are concentrated in a handful of states, there is significant geographic diversity to the full range of companies working in the smart grid sector.
The report also notes that as the smart grid is composed of a vast landscape of companies touching a diverse range of related sectors, demarcating its bounds is an increasingly arbitrary exercise. Understanding the development of the smart grid requires knowledge of technologies not only for electricity distribution, but for energy management within homes, buildings, and other industrial facilities, as well as technologies for the integration of a diverse range of new assets including vehicles, storage, and distributed renewables.