Marketing the Smart Grid

Marketing the Smart Grid
Marketing the Smart Grid
The top 15 states for development of smart grid are shown in Figure 9. Lead states overall are California and Texas.

Within the US itself, there are significant variations in investment by state. The Grid Modernisation Index, an audit carried out in July 2013 by Gridwise Alliance and the Smart Grid Policy Center evaluated state progress across a scorecard that included state policy, customer engagement (investment in customer enabling technologies) and grid investment (investment in grid support technologies).
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The smart grid continues to dominate forward strategic planning in the electricity and energy industries. The dominant narrative in this area, posited by central government and electricity industries, has been to a series of aligned benefits: what is good for the environment is good for consumers and is also good for utilities. This has been challenged, first by a pause that has come about during the recent recession and second, as the pace of smart grid development picks up again, by counter-narratives that have advanced both alternative solutions to climate change as well as different ways of delivering smart grid.

The latter remains the most significant theme affecting development of the utility business over the next two decades. However, it is increasingly being challenged by non-renewable alternative energy sources as well as an emerging storage sector and consumer dissent.

Companies committed to developing strategy in this area need now to be thinking much more widely, as this report argues.


  • Business and consumer perspectives of the smart grid.
  • Recent developments and hot spots for the future.
  • Strategic opportunities for utilities.
  • Regional opportunities for companies in smart grid technology and infrastructure.
  • Key developments in the US, Europe and Asia/Pacific regions.

Key Benefits of the Report

  • Comprehend the consensus view of the smart grid.
  • Analyze the ways in which consumers and new entrants are now challenging consensus.
  • Focus on alternative scenarios and alternative ways to benefit from the growth in the smart grid.
  • Appraise investment opportunity by niche and by region
  • Assess key issues currently facing smart grid development

Key Findings /Questions Answered

Key Findings

  1. Past forecasts of smart grid growth have varied wildly between one another and against outcome: this is part definitional, part over-optimism on the part of some forecasters.
  2. Those who wish to profit from the smart grid need to find niche opportunities that are not overly dependent on external considerations, including consumer sentiment, interoperability and standards.
  3. The smart grid is growing significantly in every region of the world, but growth is focused on very different local requirements.
  4. Investment in transmission grid infrastructure is likely to prove easier, and more likely to generate major returns for utilities over the next decade.
  5. While utilities have been enthusiastic about reduced energy use and the fully-implemented smart grid, few seem to have got to grips with the real implications of increasing storage and new net-zero energy urban developments.

Key Questions

  1. What are the major obstacles to implementing smart grid in the near term?
  2. What are the significant opportunities by region?
  3. What are the game-changers that utilities need to watch out for?
  4. What are the key developments in electricity infrastructure?
  5. What are the future prospects for investment in smart grid?

Date Published / Pages / Format

March 2014 / 55 / PDF