As electricity metering undergoes a significant transformation since the first meter was installed more than 120 year ago, smart-meter shipments are forecast to reach 39.5 million units by 2015, which represents a $3.9 billion global market, according to a report from Pike Research.
Smart-meter shipments in 2012 will peak at over 15 million units in North America, while Europe, an early adopter of smart meters with more than a 12 percent share of the installed base, will experience its own sustained peak in 2014-2015, according to the report. Asia, with different drivers, is not expected to see significant growth until about 2015.
The report, Smart Meters, indicates that more than 250 million smart meters will be installed worldwide by 2015, representing a penetration rate of 18 percent of all electrical meters, up from 46 million in 2008. North America is expected to become the leading market in 2010, reaching 55 percent penetration of all electric meters by 2015.
Government incentives are helping to drive the deployment of advanced metering infrastructures (AMI) around the globe. As an example, in North America, $4.5 billion in U.S. government stimulus money is aimed at smart grid investments including smart meters, and Canada is working to meet its provincial mandates for 100 percent smart meter coverage, according to the report.
The European Union also has targeted 80 percent smart meter coverage by 2020 as part of its 20-20-20 climate change initiative. Similar mandates in Australia are moving forward, and China and South Korea are beginning their own planning processes, according to the Pike research.