Smart Electricity Meters: Europe Emerges as Key Regional Market

Regulation-fuelled rollouts of smart electricity meters are driven by the potential to reduce non-technical losses for electricity utilities, improve billing accuracy, and effectively integrate renewable energy with smart meters. With these rollouts, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are emerging as key regional smart electricity meter markets ahead of North America, while Asia-Pacific will become the second-largest market in the next 10 years.

"In a highly competitive and commoditised market with little product innovation, leading players such as Landis+Gyr, Itron, Wasion and Hexing are pursuing price differentiation strategies and offering a complete technology solution," said Energy & Environment Research Director Malavika Tohani. "Price competition will continue to intensify, particularly as Chinese meter manufacturers start aggressively targeting the international market once their domestic rollout is completed in 2018."

Global Smart Electricity Meters Market, part of Frost & Sullivan's Power Generation Growth Partnership Service (GPS) program, finds that the total smart meter market hit a record 115 million units in 2015, driven mainly by an acceleration of the rollout in China. This will stabilise at an average of 85 million unit installations per year up to 2025.

Several regional trends are encouraging growth:

  • By 2020, Europe will become the largest market in terms of revenue with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria and Spain leading in smart meter adoption and rollout.
  • APAC left behind North America in 2015 will become the second-largest market in terms of units and revenues in the next 10 years.
  • Japan accounts for approximately 65 per cent of annual shipments for APAC in 2015.
  • South Korea is another key APAC market, averaging 2.5 million meters per year between 2015 and 2025.
  • Africa will remain a relatively small market, focused on expanding access to electricity and basic metering solutions. South Africa offers the best growth prospects for the region.

"Smart metering as a service will increase as meter manufacturers look for ways to attract investment from utilities that lack the financial resources to implement a capex-led rollout," noted Tohani. (Source: PRNewswire, 21st Feb. 2017)