Smart Grid Slump?

Posted by : Allison Eckelkamp | On : October 5, 2011

Yesterday I blogged about diminishing venture capital investment in the grid, electric vehicle and storage sectors. Today, Jesse Berst at Smart Grid News delivered word on smart grid forecasts that’s potentially even more distressing to smart grid companies: “Leading analyst slashes smart grid forecasts.”

Industry analyst Andrew Weisel, who covers the utility and smart grid market for Macquarie Group Limited, predicts that the economic downturn will slow demand for smart grid, that demand for smart meters will decrease due to consumer “pushback” over rate hikes in France and the UK, and that DR is really struggling.  Read the piece, it’s a good one.

What does this all mean for smart grid? Historically, electrical demand has closely tracked GDP. It seems with slow economic growth, and the subsequent slow growth in energy demand, that at least some smart grid solutions are not as urgent — namely, the need for demand response. That said, other benefits of smart grid — including improved efficiency, integration of “home-grown” renewable energy, enhanced grid reliability, the potential for more consumer control, and the like — have positive implications for our global economy.

At this point in time, does the cost outweigh the benefit?

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