Smart electric meters have emerged as the most visible technology of the major modernization of the global electricity infrastructure known as the smart grid. Smart meters and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), terms often used synonymously, integrate embedded computing and two-way communications to transform meters from simple manual recording instruments into highly intelligent devices serving increasingly broad roles within the electricity infrastructure. Smart meters have transformed a placid, 140-year old, low-innovation electricity metering market into a high-tech, high-growth juggernaut. In 2008, less than 4% of the global installed base of 1.5 billion electricity meters could be considered “smart” but 4 years later this penetration will have grown to over 18%, and is forecast to exceed 55% by 2020.
Such ongoing growth continues to offer unprecedented opportunities for a broad spectrum of suppliers. However, the smart meter market is exceptionally local, with different drivers, regulatory environments, favored technologies, standards, value and supply chains, and especially, market timing. Most importantly, the smart meter boom is a limited-time opportunity within each region. As anticipated in earlier Pike Research smart meter forecasts, the North American market has already peaked, and faces dramatic near-term contraction, just as the European market begins a similarly dramatic growth period. The Asia Pacific region will continue to outpace all other regions driven by major deployments in China, utilizing a different breed of smart meter technology. The global smart meter market is forecast to experience a modest 4.9% CAGR between 2010 and 2010, but hidden beneath seemingly steady growth are significant regional peaks and valleys, each with their own opportunities and risks. Suppliers seeking to profit from the unique smart meter upgrade cycle must understand the associated technology, standards, and market dynamics behind this regional diversity.
This Pike Research report examines global and regional smart meter market trends, details neighborhood-area and home-area communications technologies and standards, defines and segments various smart meter capabilities, and provides detailed market sizing and forecasts by technology, utility type, and world region for the period from 2010 through 2020. Key vendors, standards, and deployments are profiled, offering a comprehensive window into the dynamic market for smart metering.
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