The goal to incorporate more renewable energy sources will help propel a surge in smart grid spending over the next seven years, with revenues forecast to reach $73 billion by 2020, more than double that of 2012. A report from Navigant Research predicts that while the smart grid will accelerate in developed and emerging nations, "energy poverty" is likely to persist in places such as Africa, which has so far been practically untouched by the smart grid revolution.

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