Report: Utilities will spend more on data

“Big Data” is coming to the utility industry in the form of information generated by smart grids, and spending on smart-grid analytics will total $34 billion through 2020, according to Boulder-based energy industry analysts at Pike Research.

Smart-grid equipment such as smart meters will generate a dramatic increase in the data utilities can track, according to Pike Research. To capitalize on the information generated and to make good on their investments in new equipment, utilities will need to invest in data analytics tools, an industry analysis said.

“Smart grids cannot be considered smart without the actionable intelligence to correct deficiencies and introduce efficiencies throughout the power delivery system, from transmission, substation and distribution systems, to the customer side of the meter,” research director Carol Stimmel said in a summary of the report. “The demand for market analytics will only grow stronger as utilities upgrade their systems, and both seasoned providers and new entrants are vying to deliver on the promise of a smarter grid.”

According to Pike Research, the bulk of investment will be in the Asia-Pacific region, where annual investment is projected to surpass $2.5 billion by 2020.

Pike Research is a market research firm focused on the clean-tech industry. In July, it was acquired by Navigant Consulting Inc., a publicly traded (NYSE: NCI) consulting firm based in Chicago.

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