The volume of smart grid data that will have to be managed by utilities over the next few years is going to surge from 10,780 terabytes (TB) of new data created in 2010 to over 75,200 TB in 2015. Managing, analyzing, and visualizing that amount of data will be a huge undertaking, creating a global market worth $2.9 billion in 2015.
Even this vast amount of data is just the start of the "data tsunami" that utilities will have to manage as more smart grid products are installed on the grid. Growing utility awareness of the need to manage this data will drive sales of smart grid data management software over the next five years. The segment will achieve a compound annual growth rate of over 20% between 2010 and 2015, making it the fastest growing segment in the smart grid utility data market.
Many utilities are still struggling to understand how the wealth of data generated by smart grid technologies can enhance their business model, and which types of smart grid software will provide the best return on their investment. While utilities are showing increasing interest in visualization software and outage management systems, it is distribution management systems (DMS) that are expected to provide the best returns. By 2015, SBI Energy estimates almost twice the number of utilities in the U.S. will have a DMS in place compared with 2010.
Much of the smart grid funding available worldwide is still hardware focused, particularly for the installation of smart meters. But advanced meters and other sensors are just the fingers of an emerging smarter electrical grid; it is the data that these devices generate and the backend applications that will manage and use that data that will be the nervous system and brain of an active and fully capable smart grid.
"The Smart Grid Utility Data Market" by SBI Energy defines and discusses the data software tools that will be an absolute necessity for utilities as the smart grid gains traction. The analysis will include definitions, current product offerings, and market detail on the following segments:
- Data management and data security software used by the electrical utility market
- System management tools integrating smart grid data with both new and legacy control systems to provide automation and fine control of a utility's electrical grid
- Data analysis software tools that aggregate and provide usable information to utilities from raw smart grid data.