Ubiquitous electricity has served as the foundation for numerous technological innovations in the modern world, but the electrical grid itself is based on decades-old technology and has suffered from low levels of investment for many years. Now, however, governments and industry leaders are coming together with newfound urgency to drive an overhaul of grid infrastructure and according to a new report from Pike Research, these efforts will yield cumulative global spending of $200 billion on Smart Grid technologies during the period from 2008 to 2015.

“Smart meters are currently the highest-profile component of the Smart Grid, but they are really just the tip of the iceberg,” said Managing Director Clint Wheelock. “Our analysis shows that utilities will find the best return on investment, and therefore will devote the majority of their capital budgets, to grid infrastructure projects including transmission upgrades, substation automation, and distribution automation.”

Pike Research forecasts that these grid automation initiatives will capture 84% of global Smart Grid investment through 2015, compared to just 14% for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and 2% for electric vehicle management systems. The cleantech market intelligence firm also anticipates that Smart Grid revenues will peak in 2013 after several years of a strong push by key governments, and will thereafter be a smaller, albeit still very substantial, market.