Electrical Systems / Energy Management

Utilities are investing in smarter distribution

Source: Pike Research

Dec 01, 2010

As the smart grid has evolved, most of the media and public focus has been on consumer-facing products and technologies, such as smart meters, automated metering and home energy management systems. While those areas are undeniably important, technologies in the distribution tier of utility systems remain critical to the efficient and reliable operation of today’s energy networks as well as to the realization of the smart grid’s full potential and promise. Indeed, utilities have not lost sight of the critical importance of their distribution systems.

Utilities have been automating their distribution infrastructure since the 1960s, and the term “distribution automation” is said to have originated in the 1970s. From a business standpoint, the utility industry long has understood that distribution automation (DA) can yield significant cost savings through measurable improvements to operational efficiency, reliability, service quality, and energy conservation — all of which can contribute to customer satisfaction. Distribution automation is a key component of the smart grid, imbuing it with the very intelligence it needs to be smart, and Pike Research forecasts that this smart grid market sector is poised for a period of robust growth over the next several years.

This Pike Research report forecasts the size and growth of the worldwide distribution automation market by region and technology segment through 2015. The report analyzes market factors and technology issues that affect the DA market’s growth, and it addresses the key applications producing benefits and value for utility customers. Detailed profiles are also included for prominent utilities, industry vendors, and other players involved in the DA ecosystem.