Skip to main content

Exploring the Impact of China’s Smart Grid Projects

The Chinese government has been an early pioneer of smart grid technology. Since embarking on its national smart metering project at the turn of the decade, more than 200 million new electricity meters have already been deployed across China.

However, according to the latest market study by ABI Research, only around 50 million have so far been connected with bi-directional communication that can support true smart meter capabilities -- such as 'demand response' measurement.

In short, this key smart meter project has not been that intelligent -- relatively speaking. But it is set to get smarter, and that means another wave of opportunity for utility industry technology providers.

China’s smart meter rollout is a key deployment representing a significant share of smart meter shipments and investment worldwide. Furthermore, connectivity technology semiconductor providers -- such as ST Microelectronics, Silicon Labs, and Atmel -- are likely to benefit.

Smart meter vendors -- including Echelon, Siemens, and Landis+Gyr -- are also anticipating an uplift from these projects. Now the program is reaching a key stage where connectivity will come to already deployed and new electricity meters alike.

Increasingly, that connectivity will be bi-directional as China’s utilities’ smart grid plans expand to manage smart meter use as well as collect usage data. Investment to deliver bi-directional communications will also bring a further wave of competition from Chinese and overseas technology providers.

"Existing meter specifications have ensured meters deployed over the past five years can be upgraded to support bi-directional connectivity. This combined with a recent commitment to consider wireless as well as PLC connectivity, means that there is a growing opportunity for existing and new connectivity hardware providers," says Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research.

To date, meter deployments have so far been dominated by Chinese meter manufacturers, but components often leverage technology and products from overseas suppliers.

The shift to greater connectivity provides further potential for non-Chinese players to see their technology included and many suppliers are looking to partner with Chinese meter manufacturers to enable this transition.

The next 12 months heralds a key period of technology assessment that will drive new industry partnerships as players bid to gain greater traction in the Chinese market.

So far, within the smart meter rollout by China’s State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and Southern Grid Utilities, new meters have ranged from unconnected to single direction communication. And, one-way communication is only suitable for less complex applications -- such as remote meter readings.

Popular posts from this blog

Artificial Intelligence Growth at an Inflection Point

Business technology investment no longer follows a predictable path to growth. The global venture capital (VC) investment in artificial intelligence (AI) was close to its peak in 2021 reaching $22.3 billion, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research. This is just $400 million shy of the historical high of $22.7 billion recorded in 2019. Compared to the $15 billion recorded in 2020, the market made a remarkable recovery, with a 48.5 percent year-on-year growth. Will the future AI marketplace return to stable growth, or will it remain volatile? Artificial Intelligence Market Development "COVID-19 greatly accelerated the speed of digital transformation within the enterprise. Businesses are looking for solutions to work processes automation, customer care, due diligence, transcription and translation, and sales and marketing enablement tools," said Lian Jye Su, research director at ABI Research . At the same time, COVID-19 led to the Great Resignation of 2021

How a Digital-First CEO Leads Transformation

Some leaders reject the notion that "wait and see" is the best response to disruptive change. Savvy senior executives are already driving digital business transformation throughout their organization in an effort to gain a bold strategic advantage. According to the latest market study by International Data Corp (IDC), Digital-First CEOs plan to drive at least half of their income from digital business products, services, and experiences by 2027 -- that's ahead of the market average of 39 percent. Driven by their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these business leaders have changed how they think about the relationship between business and technology, and how they approach the next digital transformation era -- from scaling digital technology to guiding a viable digital business. Digital Business Market Development IDC defines digital business as value creation based on technology, which entails: 1) Automated customer-facing processes and internal operations; 2) Provision

Digital Solutions for Industrial & Manufacturing Firms

Executive leaders of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) are seeking guidance on how to apply new business technology in their manufacturing operations. CIOs and CTOs are tasked with gaining insight into the best solutions for digital transformation. ABI Research evaluated the impact politics, regulation, the economy, supply chain, ESG, and technology are having on FMCG, pharma, producers of steel, chemicals, pulp and paper -- as well as the mining and oil & gas sectors. Digital Transformation Market Development "Our assessment found that the FMCG sector is under pressure from all sides," says Michael Larner, industrial & manufacturing research director at ABI Research . Securing raw materials is challenging considering lockdowns in China and limited grain supplies from Ukraine. Supply shocks are raising input costs, and operating costs are rising with higher energy costs coupled with the pressure to pay higher wages and work sustainably. "We all hoped that with th