Smart Grid Spending Powers Ahead in Asia

By Cho Mee-young and Leonora Walet in Reuters, March 8 2010

Japan, South Korea and China are investing about $9 billion this year in infrastructure and information technology to make electricity networks more efficient, creating lucrative opportunities for niche technology and equipment providers.

The "smart grid" system, through computerised monitoring of electricity flowing through a power grid, allows utilities to automatically manage electricity usage in a way that is more reliable and flexible.

Asia's spending on smart grids is expected to outpace the United States, with China alone seen investing $7.3 billion in the sector this year, according to Zpryme, a market research firm based in Austin, Texas.

"China is pursuing smart grid as aggressively or more aggressively than any other country in the world right now," said Brad Gammons, vice-president of IBM's Global Energy & Utilities Industry, told Reuters in an interview.

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