Smart Grid Momentum in Asia Intensifies in 2012 While Funding Challenges Remain, says IDC Energy Insights

Singapore and Hong Kong, December 2, 2011 – Smart grid implementations in Asia/Pacific, both pilots as well as large rollouts, will gain momentum in 2012 as Asian utilities continue to explore ways to improve energy efficiency, sustainability, as well as energy security. However, particularly in competitive markets, they will face challenges to secure funding as government support dries up. More insights will be revealed in a forthcoming IDC Energy Insights report, "Asia/Pacific Utility Industry 2012 Top 10 Predictions", which presents the utility industry trends, challenges and opportunities across Asia/Pacific in 2012 and beyond.

"With large investments needed to make smart grids work and with a payback period of no less than eight to 10 years in most cases, utilities need to explore new business models and articulate clear value propositions, and ensure that they deliver tangible benefits to the customers as well as their stakeholders in order to get access to funds," says Debashis Tarafdar, Head – Asia/Pacific, IDC Energy Insights Asia/Pacific.

Drawing from the latest research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst IDC's Energy Insights regional and country analysts, the following are the top 10 Predictions for utility organizations in 2012 across the Asia/Pacific region. These top 10 predictions represent major trends with either the most significant financial impact or long-term market impact across the Asia/Pacific region.

1. Smart grid momentum intensifies in Asia, but funding challenges will exist, in absence of sufficient government support

2. Smarter utilities will put customer-centricity at the center of their smart grid strategy. Analytics will grow in importance as utilities struggle to make effective use of smart meter data

3. Network and distribution automation will dominate grid-level investments

4. Renewable energy adoption continues, but it will be a disruptive challenge for utilities until utility-scale storage technologies mature

5. Maturity of regulatory frameworks will drive the adoption of energy efficiency and demand response programs

6. Pilots targeting Smart City projects will start to emerge that encompass broader environmental and sustainability issues

7. China smart grid roll out will accelerate in 2012 with focus on efficiency and visibility of energy consumption

8. Electric vehicle pilots will slowly convert into large scale rollouts with more participants, though challenges will exist in terms of infrastructure developments

9. Cloud computing adoption will be slow, though meter data management and customer portals have the potential to adopt cloud

10. IT Services will constitute the lion's share of utility IT spending

Lack of customer awareness about the benefits that smart grid and smart metering initiatives could potentially bring is another stumbling block for its rollout. Utilities need to adopt a customer-centric approach to help their customers understand how smart grid technologies can benefit them and reduce their overall cost of energy.

For the upcoming year, IDC Energy Insights advices utility organizations as well as solution providers to collaborate on the latest standards and technologies, create an incremental roadmap to smart grid rollouts, communicate effectively with the customers and stakeholders, and implement solutions that consider energy efficiency and security as key objectives to build a sustainable business model.

For more information about this report, “Asia/Pacific Government Insights 2012 Top 10 Predictions” (forthcoming), please contact Sheryl Fuertez at +65-6829-7758 or sfuertez @idc.com. To set up an interview with Debashis Tarafdar, contact Lay Fang Tan at lftan@idc.com.

About IDC’s Predictions

IDC’s annual Predictions in Asia/Pacific draws upon the latest IDC research and a worldwide brainstorming exercise among IDC’s 1000+ analysts. This was followed by an extensive regional review to weigh in on key industry events, user trends, vendor strategies and economic measures that promises to uniquely define the technology trends that would impact and drive the market in Asia/Pacific for 2012. Across the globe, following the release of IDC’s global top ten predictions, IDC’s geographic, technology and industry teams will be releasing their own specific predictions in the coming months. For more information, visit www.idc.asia/microsites/predictions/2012.

About IDC Energy Insights

IDC Energy Insights assists energy businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the utility and oil and gas industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-ei.com, email info@idc-ei.com, or call 508-935-4400. Visit the IDC Energy Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/energy .

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.