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Smart Meter Unit Shipments in North America Peaked in 2011 and Will Decline 42 Percent by 2013 as Global Market Continues Growth

A Google map of all the smart meter/grid projects underway globally right now

Sales of smart meters declined last year in this country compared to 2011, the peak year, according to a new report on the matter.

According to Boulder, CO-based Pike Research, smart meters and advanced metering infrastructure have helped transform the electricity metering market into a high-tech, high-growth juggernaut. In 2008, less than 4 percent of the global installed base of 1.5 billion electricity meters could be regarded as smart devices. Four years later, this penetration has grown to over 18 percent, and should exceed 55 percent by 2020.

Even though this remarkable rollout peaked in North America in 2011, Pike Research now anticipates seeing annual smart meter shipments declining sharply. Unit shipments of smart meters in North America were 12.4 million in 2011 but will decline to 7.2 million by 2013, a 42 percent drop over two years. After 2014, they will begin a gradual rise through the end of the decade.

“The global smart meter market is in the midst of a steady growth period, with unit shipments growing at a compound annual growth rate of just under 5 percent between 2010 and 2020,” said vice president Bob Gohn in a press announcement. “However, this high-level view obscures very dynamic and even volatile regional market characteristics, with dramatic shifts over the forecast period and very different communications technologies and standards. These swings make the market both enticing and challenging for smart meter and communications vendors.”

Elsewhere in the world, smart meter market expansion is anticipated, notes Pike Research. 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. Smart meter penetration in Asia-Pacific today is just over half the penetration rate in North America, while in Europe it is less than half. That will change over the next eight years, as penetration rates reach 64 percent in Europe in 2020 and nearly 70 percent in Asia-Pacific.

Hopefully, one of the next major growth areas in the world will involve countries that provide little or no electricity for citizens.

Source: Business Wire 
Photo/Graphic:  Tom Raftery

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