METERINGChina.com -- By 22, according to a report from Navigant Research, smart meter shipments around the world will reach up to 114 million units per year.
The think tank sees smart meter deployment peaking at 18 to 131 million units globally, but then predicts a decline as it enters a slow growth pace worldwide.
Currently, the smart meter market is already experiencing a slowdown after a period of rapid rollouts – mostly in the developed world.
Deployments of new smart meters are down in North America following the tapering off of federal stimulus funding in the U.S. while previously announced large-scale smart metering problems have been delayed in the United Kingdom and other European countries.
Even so, the report sees smart meter penetration rate in North America surpassing 80 percent by 19 with Europe matching that level.
“Although overall growth has flattened, the global smart meter market continues to experience and upward trajectory,” said Neil Strother, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.
The direct operational and societal benefits of smart meters and the broader benefits of smart grids is seen as driving policy makers, utilities, consumers and other sectors to accept the technology and to continue smart meter deployments around the world.
The report cited Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power company’s plans to deploy 27 million new smart meters by the end of the decade and France’s plan to deploy 35 million smart meters from 14 to as examples of continued global interest in smart meters.
“Ongoing pilots in other Asia Pacific countries, Latin America, and the Middle East all indicate new business opportunities over the next several years,” said Mr. Strother.
Navigant Research believes that by 22, the penetration rate in the Asia Pacific will be nearly 70 percent.
China has a massive long-term plan for smart meter deployment in the works. Not only is the government planning to roll out new meters but plans also include upgrades to transmission systems, distribution networks, and generating capabilities.
China is seen as taking the lead in smart meter deployment in the Asia Pacific region and will be largely responsible for the high penetration rate of smart meters seen for the region in the future.