New research says the installed base of smart electricity meters in Europe will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19.4 per cent between 2010 and 2016 to reach 130.5 million at the end of the period.
Annual investments in smart metering technology are forecasted to exceed €3 billion by the mid-2010s, as consumers recognise the need to better manage energy usage and rising prices and policy initiatives create financial incentives for to save energy.
Smart meters also constitute the core building blocks of future smart grids that will support electric vehicle charging, renewable micro-generation and advanced energy conservation.
Following major rollouts in Italy and the Nordic region, smart meters are now being introduced on a massive scale in Spain, France and the UK. “Endesa has commenced with a rollout to 12.9 million customers in Spain and the second largest electricity network operator Iberdrola will follow”, said Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst at market analysts Berg Insight, which published the report.
“ERDF is awaiting formal approval from the government for a nationwide rollout to 33 million customers in France and in the UK the leading energy suppliers British Gas and E.ON have committed to the deployment of several million smart meters prior to the start of a mass rollout in 2014,” Ryberg said. “By that time there will also be massive installations in additional countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland and Norway,” he added.
For the first time, there are also plans for major smart metering projects in Central Eastern Europe. CEZ in the Czech Republic and Energa in Poland have announced large scale pilots as the first step towards full-scale installations. Energa has the most advanced plan to achieve full coverage for smart meters among its 3 million electricity customers by 2017.