Smart meters coming of age despite obstacles

Tools

It is no longer a question of "if" a utility will deploy smart meters, but a question of "when" and "in what form." This is a conclusion drawn from recent research by IDC Energy Insights, which projects that the number of smart meter shipments will grow 111 percent annually from 2011 through the end of 2012.

 

 

 

Chart: IDC Energy Insight's Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker Smart Meter Communications Share, 2012 Q1Description: Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker, June 5, 2012Note: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker provides quarterly shipment, installation, and revenue data by smart meter vendor, communication module vendor, and communication module technology - PLC, Wireless (RF Mesh, RF Tower, etc), Wired (PLC, other) as well as by utility revenue type and size. Both historical and forecast data is provided for 8 countries and 3 regions.For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com. Further detail about this tracker can be found at:http://www.idc.com/tracker/showproductinfo.jsp?prod_id=79Copyright IDC 2012Tags: IDC, Tracker, Smart Meter, Q42011, AMI, Communications, smart gridAuthor: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

Credit: IDC

Chart: IDC Energy Insight's Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker Smart Meter Communications Share, 2012 Q1Description: Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker, June 5, 2012Note: IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker provides quarterly shipment, installation, and revenue data by smart meter vendor, communication module vendor, and communication module technology - PLC, Wireless (RF Mesh, RF Tower, etc), Wired (PLC, other) as well as by utility revenue type and size. Both historical and forecast data is provided for 8 countries and 3 regions.For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com. Further detail about this tracker can be found at:http://www.idc.com/tracker/showproductinfo.jsp?prod_id=79Copyright IDC 2012Tags: IDC, Tracker, Smart Meter, Q42011, AMI, Communications, smart gridAuthor: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

The smart grid is obviously a driving factors of this changing philosophy, but the fact that smart meters are dropping in price doesn't hurt either. Maturing technology has gone beyond the original application of fixed PLC and RF networks on solid state meters to cellular, fiber, and other next-generation communications with hardware like cabinet and pole-mounted systems, communications hubs, and prepay.

"The European smart metering market is still waiting for its moment. Some countries, like Spain and Poland, are driving activity, while others have moved more cautiously or have been restrained by local politics," said Petr Stabrawa, Senior Research Analyst with IDC Energy Insights. "Despite this mixed picture IDC believes that the majority of EU member states will proceed with smart meter rollouts and the region will gain momentum in 2013 and 2014."

Despite this outlook, there are obstacles.

The business case for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is ultimately dependent upon a functioning market for electricity. Deregulation has eliminated this incentive in many markets. Further, the evolution of AMI communications and security specifications by utility regulators has been slow, making utilities reluctant to deploy a system that may not meet future specifications.

For more:
- see this article

Related Articles: 
Smart-device shipments up; still not widely deployed
Has the smart meter market peaked?
Utilities boost AMI market, data analytics
The smart meter rollercoaster