A new study by Northeast Group has found that smart grid expenditure in South America will reach $49.8bn by 2023.

The study revealed that the spending will be used across the five segments of smart meters, distribution automation, wide area measurement, home energy management, and information technology.

Out of the total investment, $23.2bn will be used for distribution automation, while smart metering will receive $19bn.

According to Northeast Group, two-thirds of electricity generation in South America comes from renewable hydropower and there are major problems with electric transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Northeast Group president Ben Gardner said South America will achieve some of the largest benefits from smart grid infrastructure among all emerging markets.

"When we released our first South America study two years ago, there was a lot of potential but limited activity. Since then, several countries have drafted smart grid roadmaps, launched numerous pilot projects and vendor activity has accelerated across the region," Gardner added.

Gardner noted that apart from Brazil other countries have also made large strides in the sector.

"Ecuador is aiming for full smart meter deployment by 2017, Colombia and Peru are finalizing roadmaps and Chile is developing smart city pilots," Gardner added.