Global shipments of smart meters will exceed 100 million this year and forge ahead to more than 250 million by 2016, with Europe being the main constituent of this total installed base.
"Robust smart meter uptake in Europe is the result of mandates legislated by European central governments, coupled with heightened development in renewables," says ABI Research Industry Analyst Kelvin Chan. "North America is also experiencing a quickening deployment rate due to stimulus from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Grant Programs."
The Asia-Pacific region has recently also seen deployments of smart meters. Australia is in the forefront in AMI deployments and New Zealand seems to be moving towards development of a national smart metering initiative. The rest of Asia has also shown signs that smart metering is occurring. China announced in the 12th Economic five-year plan that AMI plays a key role in its economic vision. South Korea has also embarked on a Smart Grid Demonstration Project, encompassing various initiatives in the smart energy space. Singapore has also joined the bandwagon with its "Intelligent Energy System."
Smart meters play a significant role in rolling out energy efficiency initiatives due to the two-way communication that connects the utility and customer, facilitating the growing dynamic response and home automation markets. Practice Director Sam Lucero adds, "Consolidation is also continuing, with Toshiba – known for its power generation and grid transmission and distribution business segments – acquiring Landis+Gyr, a global pioneer in smart metering, networking and service products."
ABI Research's "Advanced Metering Infrastructure" study analyzes the market dynamics of Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) deployment on a global basis, encompassing the myriad of advanced communication technologies in conjunction with utility infrastructure and operations. In particular, the study examines the adoption of smart meters and its integration into key Transmission and Distribution (T&D) infrastructure elements, thereby forming the backbone of the smart grid. In addition, updates on smart metering activities in the Asia-Pacific region are highlighted. Also central is an examination of trends in the use of cellular wireless technologies. Market forecasts are provided through 2016.