The market for automated demand response (ADR) technology will grow from $294m in 2011 to $1.7bn by 2018, according to a new report.

ADR is becoming an increasingly important tool for utilities to make sure that enough electricity is available on the grid to meet demand in order to avoid power outages. 

It automates the notification process from the utility or grid operator, notifying demand response programme participants to reduce or shift their energy usage, and can also implement predefined adjustments via control systems on site. 

According to a study from US-based Pike Research, nearly 170,000 facilities around the world will be ADR-enabled by 2018, up from approximately 20,000 sites at the end of 2011. 

Senior analyst Marianne Hedin said: “Thanks to ADR, it is now possible for demand response to evolve to the next level by reaching a broader end-user market with increased access to sophisticated and advanced types of programme options, such as ancillary and regulation services.”

She added that although ADR has so far primarily been a US phenomenon, it has recently been introduced to Canada, the UK, China, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. 

“Eventually, we believe that many countries will leapfrog directly to ADR rather than spending years relying on a traditional and manual approach to DR,” she said.