New research from Berg Insight indicates that the worldwide installed base of smart electricity meters will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26.6% between 2010 and 2016 to reach 602.7 million.
During the next five years, penetration rates for smart metering technology are projected to increase from around 15–25% to around 50% in Europe and North America and over 75% in Asia-Pacific.
By 2020, penetration rates are expected to reach 100% in most developed countries with substantial rollouts in Latin America, India and the Middle East.
Smart grid technologies will play a major role in this goal by improving the efficiency at all levels of the electricity supply chain from generation to transmission, distribution and consumption. Smart meters are the gateways that connect consumers to the smart grid and enable them to interact with other players in the ecosystem.
Europe and North America are rated as the most advanced adopters of smart metering technology. A majority of the countries in Western Europe have passed legislation that requires nationwide rollouts before the end of this decade. Italy and Sweden already have fully operational systems.
All EU member states that have not already performed a cost-benefit analysis of smart metering are required to do so before September 2012. In the US, states including California and Texas have mandated the introduction of smart meters or given their approval for rollouts proposed by utilities. The federal government has granted nearly US$ 5 billion in funding for smart grid projects that frequently involve smart meter rollouts.
China and other countries in East Asia are in the early stages of adoption but have very aggressive installation plans. The State Grid Corporation of China is currently deploying 50–60 million advanced electricity meters per year as preparation for the construction of a nationwide smart metering network within five years.
South Korea has an ambitious plan for a nationwide smart grid network that is being implemented by the national utility KEPCO and in Japan the government is looking to smart meters as a part of the solution to the new challenges facing the country’s electricity industry.
For further information, please see separate report: Smart Grids – Smart Meter Overview and Insights.
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