November 15, 2012
As the smart grid market matures, applications like substation automation, distribution automation, advanced metering infrastructure backhaul, network redundancy, remote monitoring, and mobile workforce applications are all gaining increased attention from utility managers looking to wring more costs out of their business models. Whereas alternative communications options are generally more practical and cost-effective for home area network and neighborhood area network smart grid applications, in the situations mentioned above, satellite communications is an increasingly viable and, at times, the only alternative. According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, this will lead to steady growth in the market for utility satellite communications.
Shipments of satellite-based communications nodes for smart grid applications will more than quadruple by 2020, the study concludes, growing from 11,500 in 2012 to nearly 48,000 in 2020.
“In order to bring smart grid functionality and all of its benefits to sparsely populated geographies, satellite communications represent a clear path forward,” says research director Carol Stimmel. “What’s more, as a non-terrestrial-based network, satellite communications may be the only solution to keep the grid connected or bring it back online rapidly in cases of natural (or manmade) disasters. Looking ahead, as satellite technology advances and emerging markets bring electric service to underserved areas, satellite appears to be well-positioned to play a growing role.”
Satellite communications will play a key enabling role in not only the expansion of the smart grid but also the spread of renewable distributed generation facilities, according to the report. Integrating the growing number of wind and solar microgrid sites into utilities’ overall communications networks often means reaching remote, rural areas. Satellite communications’ ubiquitous coverage and relatively low equipment costs allow utilities to attach these sites to their communications network quickly and inexpensively.
The report, “Satellite Communications for Smart Grid Applications”, examines the economics and dynamics of satellite communications as it relates to smart grid deployments. The study provides an in-depth examination of market drivers, technology issues and standards, and the competitive landscape for smart grid networking. Detailed market forecasts are included for unit shipments and infrastructure and satellite service revenue, segmented by technology, application, and world region, through 2020. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.
Contact: Richard Martin
* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Satellite Communications for Smart Grid Applications,” is a summary and reflects Pike Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Pike Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.