Germany remains smart meter wild card

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Over the next five years, Europe will see a strong boom in smart metering solutions, according to Berg Insight.

Berg's research projects the deployment of 110 million smart meters through 2017, meaning a compound annual growth rate of 20.5 percent. Total smart meter deployments at the end of 2017 will reach 154.7 million.

The increase is driven largely by nationwide rollouts in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Approximately 70 percent of households in the EU will have smart meters by 2020.

The wild card, however, is Germany -- the only major country in Western Europe that has not introduced smart metering. Originally, the country's energy regulator proposed a market-driven adoption of the technology but this approach has not had much traction.

Germany is now evaluating a regulation-driven nationwide rollout. During 2013, the German federal government is expected to announce the results of an economic assessment of the business case for smart metering in Germany. Until then, the question of whether or not the benefits outweigh the investment will remain.

If Germany does not move forward, "the market opportunities for smart metering solutions in Western Europe will essentially dry up after 2020 and most European industry players will be unable to find new customers and lose a decade's experience before the introduction of third generation smart metering systems begin in 2030," according to Senior Analyst Tobias Ryberg of Berg Insight.

For more:
- see the report

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