The number of buildings capable of participating in utility demand response programs while hosting solar generation and energy storage will grow globally at an annual rate of almost 13% from 2022 to 2031, according to new data from Guidehouse Insights.

Buildings capable of providing those energy services, known as grid-interactive buildings, will allow real estate owners to “provide benefits to the grid, like shedding or shifting loads during periods of supply constraint,” a summary of the report, Building-to-Grid, says.

“Digitalization and technological advances have transformed the ways that buildings interact with the electric grid,” Wendy Davis, senior research analyst with Guidehouse Insights, said in a statement. “With these technologies, building owners have greater control and flexibility over their energy generation and consumption and are incentivized to provide benefits to the grid, like shedding or shifting loads during periods of supply constraint.”

Globally, Guidehouse estimates the number of grid-interactive buildings will increase from 67.9 million in 2022 to 202.5 million in 2031, at a compound annual growth rate of 12.9%.

“The total number of grid-interactive buildings is expected to grow most slowly in North America and most rapidly in Asia Pacific, but anticipated increases vary for different [building-to-grid] technologies and building groups,” the report summary says.

Guidehouse did not immediately respond to questions about the regional disparities in growth.

The U.S. Department of Energy published a “roadmap” for grid-interactive, energy efficient buildings in 2021, including recommendations to integrate buildings with solar and wind power through demand management and storage. The agency estimated such buildings could create savings up to $200 billion through 2040.

Key factors driving the development of grid-interactive buildings include hardware and software advances, public policies and regulation encouraging building integration, and the need to integrate renewable generation into the energy supply, according to Guidehouse.

“Most of the market barriers to [building-to-grid] integration revolve around the maturity of the market,” the firm concluded. Cybersecurity concerns and incumbent energy business models and policies are both potential concerns, it added.