Smart Meter Growth to Double by 2013
The number of smart meter deployments across 35 emerging market countries in 2013 will be more than double the number of deployments in 2012, according to Northeast Group's annual Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2013 study. With growth continuing throughout the decade, these countries will represent a smart metering - or advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) - market of $56 billion by 2022. The total number of electricity meters in these countries will grow to 546 million by 2022, with 27% already targeted by regulators to be "smart." The new study analyzes the smart meter and smart grid potential of 35 countries from Central/Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa, South Africa and Southeast Asia.
"These 35 emerging market countries were active in deploying smart meters and associated smart grid infrastructure in 2012, with over 1.3 million AMI meters deployed. This activity does not even include the mega-markets of China and India, which are not covered in this forecast," said Northeast Group. "A number of emerging market utilities have already announced large projects for 2013, fueling our expectations that the number of smart meter deployments will more than double next year."
In recent years, smart grid activity has largely been focused in North America, Western Europe, and East Asia, primarily due to higher electricity demand profiles in these regions. But smart grid infrastructure offers emerging markets a diverse array of benefits as well, including improving reliability, reducing non-technical losses, and incorporating renewable sources of energy. As smart grid financing models and regulatory frameworks have improved, emerging market countries are catching up with their more developed peers.
"Regulatory development was somewhat mixed in 2012, but positive on the whole," continued Northeast Group. "In particular, emerging market countries are cooperating with more developed countries to establish interoperability standards for smart meters, helping reduce a considerable amount of risk from these investments. This will facilitate the entry of leading international vendors into the market, many of whom already have local partners and are established in these countries. In fact, ten leading international vendors accounted for over 90% of deployments across the 35 countries in 2012."
"One negative sign was that some emerging market countries backed away from previously announced deployment targets, but these targets are not out of reach if smart meter prices decline and financing improves. Utilities and governments are learning important lessons from widespread pilot projects, which should lead to clearer smart meter regulations over the next few years," added Northeast Group.
All 35 countries analyzed in the study are projected to begin smart grid deployments in the coming decade. In fact, 14 of the 35 countries are well positioned to begin large-scale smart grid deployments within the next 1-3 years. These include Brazil, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United Arab Emirates. Some of these countries are already in the early stages of large-scale rollouts.
Smart metering - or AMI - deployments will be the first step of smart grid activity in most of these countries, creating significant markets for the various AMI components across the 35 countries. These components include meter hardware, communications, IT (meter data management and customer information systems), and professional services markets. Following AMI, there is strong potential for distribution automation, substation automation, wide area measurement and home energy management technologies, including distributed generation and electric vehicle supply equipment.
Northeast Group ranked the smart meter potential of each country based on the potential benefits, the regulatory framework in place, and the total market size. The study includes details on each of the 35 countries, including their industry structure, regulatory framework, business case indicators, existing smart grid activity and vendors. There are market forecasts for each of five regions covered, as well as a comparison of these forecasts to the China and India markets. Additionally, the study gives an overview of the leading smart meter hardware vendors in emerging markets, including market share data.
SOURCE Northeast Group, LLC
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.