In a newly updated report by the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA), the global building energy management system (BEMS) market is predicted to almost double to more than £4.4 billion by 2020.

The BEMS Opportunities report reveals that whilst Europe, which accounts for almost the current BEMS market is growing at around 10 per cent, North America has been growing at a faster rate and the rest of the world even faster still. And it predicts that even with a number of obstacles and uncertainties facing the market, growth is set to continue over the next five years, partly since the factors perpetuating this growth differ from one region to another.

In an article written by Henry Lawson, a market research consultant for BSRIA, he said: “In Western Europe, gas prices almost doubled between 2005 and 2013, while at the same time major economies like Germany became increasingly dependent on import of gas from politically sensitive countries like Russia and the Gulf states, raising the spectre of uncertain supplies.

“Rises in electricity prices have been less dramatic, Germany faces the biggest challenge of fulfilling its commitment to shut down all nuclear power generation by 2022. The UK also faces similar challenges as its ageing, coal-consuming and CO2-spewing power stations reach the ends of their lives, with the ghost of Christmas black-outs rising like a Dickensian spectre to haunt the business and political worlds.”

Talking about North America and the rest of the world, he said:

“In North America, the pressure of energy prices has been less relentless, especially since fracking of shale gas has got underway. At the same time, the proportion of energy consumed by office buildings has been rising inexorably at a time when energy used in such areas as transport, industry and homes has been either stable or falling, placing office buildings firmly in the sights of those wishing to make savings. North America also benefits from the plethora of firms developing innovative energy management solutions in both the USA and Canada.

“In the rest of the world the picture is extremely varied, from developed countries like Japan and Australia with widespread adoption of BEMS, to major emerging economies like China, where energy has hitherto been seen as rather less of a problem but where the pollution associated with fossil fuels is becoming more pressing.”