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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Zigbee gains early lead in $12bn smart grid market

By Nick Flaherty

Revenues over $12bn by 2016 with powerline dominating but US rollouts peak this year
Worldwide smart meter revenues will grow to over $12bn by 2016, with the vast majority ZigBee-enabled say market researchers In-Stat..
The smart meter is a device that is at the heart of the smart grid transformation. It records a user’s electrical, water, or gas usage at a set interval, and then provides a way for this data, or a subset of this data, to be read electronically, but that is just its minimum function.
“ZigBee has been considered the front-running short range connectivity option for smart grid since its inception, and has maintained its position so far. While the number of ZigBee clients in homes to date is relatively small, In-Stat believes that ZigBee will maintain its dominance,” says Allen Nogee, Research Director. “Although Wi-Fi is pervasive, it has not been a viable choice for the smart grid because the application layers have never existed for Wi-Fi that explain exactly how Wi-Fi devices interact. That will all change with the passage of the IP-based Smart Energy Profile 2.0, expected late in 2012.”

Recent In-Stat research found:
  • Powerline is the clear leader in backhaul connectivity from the meter to the utility. However, we are seeing an increasing number of wireless solutions including cellular, white space, and proprietary methods that would use unlicensed and operate in mesh configuration. 
  • China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, is also the biggest smart meter consumer.
  • The number of smart meters deployed in the US per year will decrease after peaking in 2011, but worldwide smart meter deployment will continue to grow.

Recent In-Stat research Getting Smart on Worldwide Smart Meter Communication Technology(#IN1104731WH) contains an in-depth look at the smart grid in general, and the smart meter and communication technology employed and includes:
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