Mexico smart grid market to grow to $2.1 billion per year

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Mexico is debating a series of energy sector reforms that have the potential to shake up the country's monolithic state-owned enterprises. In addition to petroleum sector reforms, the Enrique Pena Nieto administration is looking to revamp the electric power sector by increasing the number of small-scale generators and making the state-owned monopoly utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) more efficient and competitive.

As the political debate continues, regulations are already moving forward to develop smart grid infrastructure that will help enable the power sector reform efforts.

Mexico's energy regulator Comision Reguladora de Energia (CRE) is in the final stages of developing a smart grid roadmap to help spur a market that will cumulatively reach $12.1 billion by 2023, with annual spending ramping up from $205 million in 2014 to $2.1 billion per year in 2023, according to a new study released today by Northeast Group LLC.

This spending will be allocated across 17 smart grid market segments including smart metering, transmission and distribution network infrastructure and information technology.

"Mexico has all of the key characteristics to develop into a robust smart grid market," according to Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group. "Its government is working on developing a concrete regulatory framework and political leaders are looking to reduce electricity prices and incorporate small-scale generators. Smart grid infrastructure will be necessary to enable these changes. Above average distribution losses and electricity consumption rates mean that there is already a strong business case for smart meter deployments in Mexico, with other smart grid market segments to follow."

CFE has been testing smart grid infrastructure for several years and has successfully completed a number of pilot projects using a variety of vendors and technologies. There has been a diversity of communications technologies employed in these projects. Future communications could potentially include telecom operators eager to expand their machine-to-machine (M2M) market offerings.

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