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South America to invest $18.1 B in smart grid infrastructure

South America: According to the fifth edition of the South America Smart Grid: Market Forecast study published by Northeast Group, LLC, the South American smart grid infrastructure market will finally be an investment destination in the 2020s, after several false starts.

Led by Brazil, Colombia, and Chile, South American countries will invest $18.1 B in smart grid infrastructure over the next decade, according to the study. Investment hinges on global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout — a recovery not yet in sight.

“Obviously, the global pandemic raises questions about all investments, but the key characteristics of the South American market should remain in place,” said Chris Testa, research director at Northeast Group. “After years of unrealistic promises, South American utilities and regulators have begun to set pragmatic timelines and develop the regulations needed for larger investments. As the market is poised for medium-term growth, the near-term effects of COVID-19 should be limited. At the same time, economic challenges have stalled smart grid progress in South America in the past, so the ongoing response to the pandemic will help determine if large-scale investments move forward.”

The Italian multinational utility Enel has expanded its already strong presence in the region and recently certified its own smart meter in Brazil. Notably, multiple Chinese players have also entered the market, buying utilities and local vendors. This should lead to lower cost metering infrastructure and an improved business case, while also placing greater importance and scrutiny on vendor selection for communications and software.

Leading international vendors include ABB, Aclara, Cisco, Enel, Engie, GE, Honeywell, Iskraemeco, Itron, Kamstrup, Landis+Gyr, NES, Sagemcom, Schneider, S&C, SEL, Siemens, Trilliant, and Ziv, in addition to Chinese vendors that have acquired local companies such as Hexing, Sanxing, and Wasion.


Source: T&D World