April 13, 2011
As the global smart grid movement begins to transition beyond infrastructure and into the realm of energy efficiency applications and devices, smart appliances will have a growing place of importance within the broader industry landscape. The smart appliance market, which includes smart grid-connected refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, water heaters, dishwashers, and other appliances, is off to a slow start, but a recent report from Pike Research forecasts that these categories will experience greater growth beginning in the 2013 timeframe, and by 2019 the cleantech market intelligence firm anticipates that smart appliances will represent a $26.1 billion annual market.
“Smart appliances are at the very beginning of their commercialization path,” says research director Bob Gohn. “While technology standards have been slow to develop, the pace is now picking up and appliance manufacturers are readying themselves to launch products in increasingly greater numbers.”
Gohn adds that there are four key drivers behind realizing widespread smart appliance adoption:
- Dynamic pricing – A necessary element to elicit changes in the way consumers use energy. Utilities and regulators will determine how prevalent these tariffs will be.
- Standards – Communications standards must be defined to handle messaging between appliances, the grid, and any other parties involved in managing energy. Industry groups, manufacturers, and governments are working to gain consensus quickly.
- Control & privacy – Consumers demand final control over their devices and want their data to be managed in confidence. Vendors will have to prove that they can manage data successfully.
- Education – There is a lack of understanding among the stakeholder groups as to what smart appliances and the smart grid can do. Innovations and best practices need to be shared so that all participants are willing to play.
Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the industry is close to resolving two of these issues: standards and control & privacy. Through continued testing efforts, the firm expects a few select standards to emerge that will be adopted by the industry. ZigBee is likely to lead RF smart appliance implementations while HomePlug Green PHY is the likely winner in power line carrier (PLC) initiatives. Once these standards are adopted on a wider scale, Pike Research believes that manufacturers will begin to embed communications technologies in the majority of their product lines.
Pike Research’s report, “Smart Appliances”, examines the current state of the global smart appliance market including an analysis of market drivers and challenges, enabling technologies, regulatory factors, and key industry players. The study features detailed market forecasts of smart appliance unit shipments, revenues, and penetration rates, segmented by appliance product category and key world regions. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit www.navigantresearch.com or call +1.303.997.7609.