Building a Smart Future, the first in a planned series of smart grid events organised by Cleantech Investor, takes place on 3rd October 2013. The event will explore the key technology areas within the broad smart grid sector and the drivers for adoption, with a particular focus on the UK market.
Within smart meters alone, GBI Research anticipates that market penetration is set to rise from current levels of around 5% to at least 55% - or 719.3 million meters - globally by 2020. Other key technologies include HVDC transmission, broadband over powerline and energy storage – with the latter permitting the integration of increased levels of renewable energy into the grid.
Research undertaken last year on behalf of SmartGrid GB forecast that the UK could be at the forefront of smart grid technology if it takes an innovative approach and acts quickly. It estimated that it could help create around 10,000 jobs and contribute £13 billion to the economy, creating a £5 billion export market.
Yet, to date, the success rate of smart grid projects has been mixed, with many energy storage projects still at the pilot stage. While the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced the preferred bidders for its smart grid infrastructure competition in mid—August, the mass roll out of smart meters has been delayed. In May DECC announced that the first stage of the introduction of smart meters would be pushed back to autumn 2015 (completion due by 2020), in order to provide suppliers with more time to design and test their systems.