Smart-Grid Sensor Market Steadily Climbing to $39 Billion by 2019

Sept. 10, 2014
The market for all types of sensors used in smart grid applications will grow from $26.4 billion this year to $36.5 billion in 2019 and nearly $46.8 billion by 2021.

The market for all types of sensors used in smart grid applications will grow from $26.4 billion this year to $36.5 billion in 2019 and nearly $46.8 billion by 2021, according to a new report from industry analyst firm NanoMarkets. Details of the new report, "Markets for Sensors for the Smart Grid 2014-2021."

"Smart grids" promise to solve many problems in managing today's electric grid infrastructure, by enabling broad knowledge and control of operations at all levels, from generation to transmission & distribution to end-use: asset monitoring, outage management, demand response, and building energy management to name a few. All these multiple sensing, monitoring, and control functions depend upon real-time collection and communication of a wide range of data throughout the grid -- which translates into enormous opportunities for various types of sensors.

This report examines each domain of smart grid functionality and identifies the product and technology opportunities for various sensors and vendors, with granular eight-year forecasts in terms of dollars/revenue, units deployed, and penetration rate.

The report also provides in-depth analysis of the all the leading firms involved in supplying sensors for smart grid applications. Companies discussed in this report include: ABB, Alstom, Art Sodar, Atmospheric Systems Corp. (ASC), AT&T, Avent, Axiom Power, Cyan, Eaton (Cooper Industries), Eko Instruments, Ford, GE, General Motors, Google, Grid20/20, Haier, Honda, Honeywell, Itron, IUS Technologies, Landys+Gyr, Leviton, Lockheed Martin, Lutron, Metrycom, Metek, Mitsubishi, Nest Labs, Remtech, Schneider Electric, Scintec, Sensus, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks, Skyworks, Televent, Tollgrade, Toshiba, Vaisala, Verizon, and ZephIR.

Analyzing the markets for sensors in smart-grid applications, we see the following trends:

  • Momentum building for smart metering & meter data analytics, grid management, outage management systems, feeder & substation automation, load balancing, and advanced SCADA. Other opportunities include integration of renewable energy at distribution and sub-transmission voltage levels.
  • Smart metering will be a requisite for capturing consumer data, while on-grid distributed generation will gain traction (subject to policies and regulation). Increasing demand for grid safety and security is a primary concern for regulators and utilities.
  • We anticipate increased consolidation and M&A activity in smart metering, outage management systems, SCADA, data computing & analytics, and feeder automation -- especially as broad sensor manufacturers show a keen interest in developing sensing solutions for smart grid applications.
  • Advanced sensor technologies will expand the addressable market base for smart grid sensors. Sensor makers will seek avenues to cross-sell their products into other industries such as water, gas, transportation, and telecom.

By sensor application, we expect advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) applications accounting for the vast majority of the market throughout the forecasting period: $17.8 billion in 2014, growing to $22.7 billion in 2021. This dominance should decrease towards the end of the forecast period, however, as smart meters reach the saturation point in many leading markets. We see the biggest growth over our forecast period in sensors for demand response, surging from $1.7 billion today to $10.9 billion in 2021 to becoming the second-largest market for smart-grid sensors. We also see high growth rates in sensors for SCADA, lead management, energy storage, and renewable energy.

By sensor type, we see the best growth trajectory for energy conservation sensors through our forecast period ($521 million in 2014, $3.6 billion in 2021), followed by humidity and temperature sensors. Current sensors will account for the second-largest share in the overall market by 2021 ($4.3 billion), followed by oil moisture sensors ($3.8 billion) and energy conservation sensors.

Looking at regional markets for sensors in smart grids, we calculate North America accounting for 30% ($7.9 billion) of the worldwide market, followed by Europe ($6.6 billion, 25%), China ($5.2 billion, 20%), and Japan ($2.6 billion, 10%). However, we see the fastest adoption rate of smart grid technologies including sensors happening in China during our forecast period -- by 2021 we see China ($10.8 billion) overtaking Europe ($10.1 billion) for the second largest share of the sensor market behind the U.S. ($13.1 billion), with Japan well behind ($4.4 billion).


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