Will the construction industry see more opportunities for construction related to energy infrastructure in the year ahead? Research shows areas such as the global smart grid market have grown steadily throughout the past five years, but certainly not at the pace everyone had hoped.

According to research firm Lucintel, www.lucintel.com, Dallas, Texas, the global recession has definitely had an impact on investments in smart grid technology overall. However, with new technology players seemingly entering the market all the time and awareness growing around the globe, could 2013 be a year in which the smart grid truly does emerge?

Lucintel projects the global smart grid market will reach approximately $64.3 billion by 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of about 17%. Part of that growth will most likely be due to regulatory activity expected across Europe throughout the next several years. In fact, based on current deployment plans, experts estimate about 70% of EU (European Union) households will have smart electricity meters by 2020.

Interestingly enough, Lucintel research shows North America has emerged as the leading smart grid consumer in value (replacing Europe) and that Asia Pacific will lead the market due to greater generation potential and an increase in consumption rates in that region. In other words, while Europe may have initiated industry growth, experts expect the smart grid to stretch across the globe.

As a contractor, have you considered what the smart grid means for construction, maintenance, and operations of facilities? The smart grid aims to use energy in a more efficient manner, and it’s becoming more common, opening up new opportunities for construction companies across the globe.