Smart Grid market research

Distribution Automation Communication Networks: Strategies and Market Outlook, 2012-2016

With much of the smart grid M&A over the past two years centering on acquisition of communications companies, GTM Research forecasts the cumulative market for U.S. private distribution automation (DA) communications systems to be between $600 million and $1.8 billion through 2016. Because automation of distribution systems, substations and transmission grids offers more rapid and greater return on investments than smart meter programs, we believe that the (largely undeveloped) DA market represents the greatest opportunity to reap the benefits of the smart grid.

FIGURE: Distribution Automation Communications Taxonomy

Source: GTM Research

This 116-page report assesses the tangled and nascent U.S. market for the communications networks that enable DA, providing descriptions of technologies and applications, market forecasts, and case studies in order to facilitate market entry. The report also provides 30 comprehensive vendor profiles, as well as highlighting planning and implementation of utilities, including Alabama Power Corp., Arizona Public Service Co., Burbank Water and Power, Consolidated Edison, Consumers Energy, Duke Energy, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Hydro One, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.

Download the report's brochure for a complete Table of Contents and List of Figures as well as more in-depth information on the report's analysis.

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Report Author


Gerry Runte began his career as Nuclear Fuel Manager with General Public Utilities Corporation (GPU). At the time GPU was one of the few utilities contracting for all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle and was acquiring fuel for the systems for four nuclear units: Three Mile Island Units 1 and 2; Oyster Creek and ForkedRiver. After the accident at TMI‐1, Runte was a member of a small team that successfully raised the additional $750 million necessary to complete cleanup. He was the owner’s representative on behalf of Cajun Electric G&T’s 30% share of the River Bend Nuclear Station. In the late 80s and early 90s, Runte was Manager of Rate Affairs for GPU Nuclear Corporation, where he implemented a program to assure the corporation’s preparedness to withstand operational and management prudence reviews. In the early 90s, Runte was Director of Strategic Planning for the GPU System.

After GPU, Runte served in executive leadership roles at the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and two of its fuel cell development companies, Mosaic Energy and M‐C Power Corporation. At GTI, he achieved 40% annual revenue growth and established the company as a key player in the hydrogen energy sector. In his current position as Principal at Worthington Sawtelle LLC, a marketing consultancy specializing in emerging energy technologies, and previously as General Manager of Clean Energy at ARES Corporation, Runte has played a central role in developing partners, structuring joint ventures, and guiding product commercialization in the clean energy and alternative fuels sectors. At ARES, he formed a strategic alliance with a waste‐to‐energy technology firm building plants in the U.S. and overseas. He also was instrumental in the launch of a biodiesel joint venture whose assets were later sold to a large biodiesel production company.

Runte holds a Bachelor’s degree in Math and Chemistry and a Masters in Nuclear Engineering, both from Pennsylvania State University.

Report Author


Emma Ritch is an analyst at GTM Research, focused on communications and networking technologies for the smart grid. She has been quoted as an expert by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Nature scientific journal and The Guardian. She previously worked as senior research analyst at the Cleantech Group, a research and consulting firm, where she advised clients on technologies, trends and investments in energy efficiency in the built environment. Prior to Cleantech, Emma worked as a cleantech reporter for the Silicon Valley Business Journal, where she covered topics including energy storage, biofuels, solar, smart grid and lighting. Emma graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and studied at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands before beginning her career as a business reporter at the Associated Press and The Sun News. She lives and works in San Francisco.

Report Author


Ben is a Senior Grid Analyst for GTM Research, specializing in Distribution Automation, Network Management and Renewables Integration markets. He previously worked as a research analyst for Knwldg Houston, a green energy and healthcare consulting firm, where his research focused on AMI deployment and smart grid regulatory policy. Prior to Knwldg Houston, Ben was a policy intern with Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates where he performed research for energy, transportation, and defense clients.

He has authored multiple studies on the smart grid market, concentrating on policy evolution, technology innovation, the market's competitive landscape and project economics. He has become a leading voice for the industry as the author of the definitive report, Distribution Automation 2012-2016: Technologies and Strategies for a Digital Grid. Ben also keynoted the 2011 Rural Smart Grid Summit and has moderated conference panels and hosted industry webinars with GTM Research / Greentech Media. Ben has been a smart grid contributor on CNN Money and NPR. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science.

Follow Ben Kellison on Twitter: @benkellison

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value added elements

  • Markets drivers and inhibitors of DA and grid optimization
  • DA technologies and applications analysis
  • DA communications market forecasts to 2016
  • DA communications competitive analysis and taxonomy
  • Leading vendor profiles
  • Utility deployment analysis

contact: Tate Ishimuro

Phone: 646.719.1380