Renewable energy integration important for smart grid deployments
With the deployment of the smart grid – a system of networked devices that collect and analyze energy usage – will come greater integration of renewable energy sources to the U.S. power grid, according to a new report from Pike Research.
In the next few years, there will be significant growth in the amount of renewable energy sources that are integrated into the smart grid, which is said to be the future of the electric distribution network. Revenue from smart grid renewable integration is expected to hit $4 billion in 2012, and rise to $13 billion by 2018.
"Many utilities [will] launch comprehensive programs and place significant investments in the ability of the smart grid to lower the costs of integrating renewable generation at the transmission, distribution and residential levels," said Pike senior analyst Peter Asmus.
North America will come in second in terms of renewable energy integration, with revenue increasing from $974 million in 2012 to $4 billion in 2018.
According to the Center for Sustainable Systems, currently about 8 percent of total electricity in the U.S. is derived from renewable sources.