For the first time, China outspent the United States in smart grid investments as global investment in smart grids increased by $700 million from $14.2 billion in 2012 to $14.9 billion in 2013, the Worldwatch Institute reports.
China and the US accounted for more than half of the global spending on smart grids in 2013. China invested $4.3 billion, most of which went into its smart meter program. US investment fell by one-third, year over year as the investment tally was $3.6 billion. By the end of 2013, China was on track to have 250 million smart meters installed, an 80 percent increase in just one year. A 2010 census indicated 402 million households in China, so smart meters are currently installed in about 62 percent of them. A goal of China’s metering program was to install smart meters in 95 percent of households by 2015, but that has been pushed back to 2017.
Smart grid investment was modest across the rest of the globe. European and Asian markets as seen as growth areas with more investment expected in the near future.
Rapid increases in renewable energy generation will mean a greater need for integration of those resources. Higher grid reliability will continue to drive smart grid growth globally through 2020. The global smart grid market is expected to cumulatively reach over $400 billion by 2020 as a result.