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Grid Operations: 91 million connected devices by 2030 across electricity, gas and water

  • Analyst Report
  • Internet of Things
  • IoT
  • Hyperconnectivity
  • Utilities
  • Electricity Smart Grid
  • Gas Smart Grid
  • Water Smart Grid
  • Infrastructure
  • Nikita Singh
  • Matt Arnott
This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on the use of IoT in the management and operation of smart grids. This comprises electricity, gas, water and sewerage infrastructure.

Report summary

This report provides Transforma Insights’ view on the use of IoT in the management and operation of smart grids. This comprises electricity, gas, water and sewerage infrastructure.

The transition from traditional to smart grid operations is a significant IoT initiative impacting the production and supply of all three utilities (water, electricity and gas) worldwide. By 2030, there will be 91 million grid operation devices. This report examines the reasons behind the increasing adoption of smart grids, the modernisation of traditional grids, and the automation of distribution systems substations and power regulation stations. The report also assesses the management of infrastructure, use cases and popular deployments by vendors across the three utilities.

Electricity smart grid monitoring is vital for the successful implementation of load balancing and microgeneration. Electricity grids will also leverage predictive analytics and big data to prevent energy losses in the system. The change in climatic conditions, increasing demand for electricity and the use of alternative sources (such as renewables) are the key reasons driving the need for smart electricity grid operations.

In contrast, the use of IoT monitoring and management in smart water grids is less well-developed. However, it is critical as it deals with multiple issues related to water scarcity, losses, droughts, floods and reduced water security.

Gas smart grids promote the use of more sustainable alternatives such as biogas, bio-methane and hydrogen. These grids are crucial in reducing carbon emissions, improving energy independence, and detecting gas leakages and faults.

The report provides a detailed definition of the sector, analysis of market development and profiles of the key vendors in the space. It also provides a summary of the current status of adoption and Transforma Insights’ ten-year forecasts for the market. The forecasts include analysis of the number of IoT connections by geography, the technologies used and revenue.

A full set of forecast data, including country-level forecasts, sector breakdowns and public/private network splits, is available through the IoT Forecast tool.

Key market developments in Grid Operations Application Group

The report examines key factors that are influencing the development of the market, including:

Electricity Smart Grid

This section of the report begins with an explanation of how increasing dependence on renewable sources of energy is one of the key reasons to introduce smart electricity grids (since renewable energy sources are frequently variable), their features (like enabling two-way flow of electricity), and benefits (including significant improvement in efficiency). It then focuses on another driver for the adoption of smart grids – microgeneration and defines what it is and how it is beneficial (such as allowing customers to reduce drawing electricity from the grid).

It also charts the advantages of electricity smart grids over traditional electricity grids (like being able to immediately able to react immediately to abnormalities like power blackouts and identify faults even in harsh weather conditions) and how their adoption can prove beneficial for the environment as well (since they reduce emissions).

It explores how decreasing reliance on nuclear energy (with developed countries like Germany planning to gradually phase it out), the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia (which has forced the European countries to limit their gas import from Russia), and the growing adoption of electric vehicles (since they increase the load on existing electricity grids due to EV charging) will result in greater adoption of electricity smart grids.

It also discusses how both vehicle and non-vehicle VPPs (virtual power plants) will become an increasingly important part of smart grids. It further talks about the features of VPPs (like enabling real-time shifting of residential, commercial, and industrial power loads). Lastly, it also talks about a few challenges that may affect the adoption of electricity smart grids, including disruptions of grids caused by hackers.

Water Smart Grid

This section of the report discusses the benefits of smart water grids (such as enabling greater control of the distribution network) and the issues that conventional water systems often face (like low operating efficiency). It then focuses on how smart grids can deal with the issue of water scarcity (such as in leak detection – which can avoid contamination of fresh water) and prove to be helpful during catastrophes such as floods and droughts (since these grids have automated valve operations that can then shut valves in the affected areas to prevent flooding, further damage, water loss, or spreading of contaminated water).

Gas Smart Grid

This section begins with the benefits of gas smart grids (like remote surveillance of installations to detect any malfunctions in the distribution network) and explains why their deployment is limited on a global scale (especially in many Asian and African countries like India, Pakistan, and many parts of China).

There are also some examples of relevant IoT deployments in this Application Group that have been included in the report. For instance, Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative faced issues related to resource efficiency and implemented a smart grid solution using Verizon's PaaS platform and improved its power quality and customer service, reduced truck rolls, enhanced ease of decision making, and reduced IT overhead with simplified deployment and lower equipment costs.

Key vendors for Grid Operations

The key vendors section lists some of the main providers of products and services related to the grid operations market such as Landis+Gyr, ABB (Hitachi Ltd.), Cisco, Itron, Siemens, and General Electric (GE). The report provides profiles of the various vendors including aspects most relevant to this Application Group, such as product offerings, pricing, financial results, and technology.

Market forecasts for Grid Operations

In the market forecasts section, we provide a summary of the forecasts from the Transforma Insights IoT Forecast Database:


The report charts the growth in the number of Grid Operations devices, which will grow from 26 million in 202 to 91 million in 2030.

Transforma Insights forecasts are compiled on a country-by-country basis. This report includes a regional summary, showing splits between Australasia, Greater China, North America, Europe, Japan, Latin America, MENA, Russia & Central Asia, South East Asia, South Korea, India & South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Transforma Insights’ IoT forecasts include splits between the various connectivity technologies as follows: 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G mMTC, 5G non-mMTC, LPWA (non-mMTC), Satellite, Short Range, and Other.

This section discusses which technologies will be used in the grid operations application group.


This part of the report discusses the market growth in terms of revenue (module revenue, service wrap revenue, and VAC revenue). Transforma Insights estimates that the revenue in the Grid Operations Application Group will grow at a CAGR of 15%.

  • ABB
  • Aclara
  • American Electric Power (AEP)
  • Transmission Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • AusNet
  • BC Hydro
  • China South Power Grid (CSG)
  • Cisco
  • Croatia
  • Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP ODS)
  • Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative
  • DTE Energy
  • Enedis
  • Etrel
  • General Electric
  • Google
  • Grid Investments Advisory Council
  • Hawaiian Electric Companies
  • Hitachi
  • Huawei
  • Itron
  • Kahramaa-Qatar Utility
  • Kuwait Utility
  • Landis+Gyr
  • Manitoba Hydra
  • Ministry of Economy
  • Trade and Industry (METI) Philippines
  • National Grid
  • National smart water grid (NSWG)
  • Power Generation Puerto Rico
  • Power Grid Rhebo
  • SEQ water grid
  • Shenzhen Power Supply Bureau (SPSB)
  • Siemens
  • Smart Water Grid Research Group (SWGRG)
  • State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC)
  • SunRun
  • Verizon
  • Water supply network department (PUB)
  • Internet of Things
  • Hyperconnectivity
    • Electricity, Gas, Steam & A/C
    • Government
    • Water Supply & Waste Management