Australia and New Zealand to invest $6.1bn in smart grid technologies

Australia and New Zealand are together predicted to invest $6.1bn in smart grid infrastructure between 2017 and 2027, according to a new report.

The analysis from US-based consultancy Northeast Group found that the two countries are “well positioned” to develop and expand projects such as smart metering, battery energy storage, advanced sensors and grid communications.

Strong utilities, unsubsidized power prices and high consumption rates combined with high per-capita income and positive policy environments for clean technology offer an encouraging environment, the report noted.

However, while New Zealand has already completed much of a smart meter rollout, only Victoria state in Australia has rolled out smart meters to date. Other states are expected to follow within the next one to three years, though, and also to invest in technologies such as distribution automation, home energy management, IT and battery energy storage.

Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group, was quoted as saying that the smart grid market opportunity in the region “remains largely open for vendors” and that market growth for smart grid segments such as battery storage is “beginning to accelerate across the region”.

The investments will particularly benefit the state of South Australia, which has recently suffered from statewide blackouts. The state this month announced a new energy plan which includes funding for 100 MW of battery energy storage.  

 

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