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Silver Spring Networks, Itron, eMeter to Lead Smart Meter Infrastructure Market

The U.S. advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) market will grow from $2.54 billion in 2010 to $5.82 billion in 2015, representing an 18 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to Zpryme’s latest Smart Grid Insights report (PDF).

Smart meter revenues, including electric, gas, and water, are projected to grow from $1.2 billion in 2010 to $2.3 billion in 2015. The market research firm projects that Silver Spring Networks, Itron, and eMeter will be key leaders in the U.S. market over the next five years.

Zpryme says AMI is a fundamental first milestone in the development and deployment of the smart grid. Case in point: nearly 24 percent, or $818 million, of the $3.4 billion in the U.S. Smart Grid stimulus funds were awarded to 31 AMI projects in 2009.

The report, sponsored by Tantalus Systems, indicates that this focus on smart meters creates opportunities for AMI communication systems, meter data management systems (MDMS), customer data management, and AMI program management. Currently, companies such as GridPoint, eMeter, Tantalus, Itron, Google, Silver Spring Networks, Cisco, and IBM are all trying to capture market share in these emerging markets, according to the report.

But there are still some major service and technology gaps that need to be filled to advance the AMI market, says Zpryme.

The report provides a six-phase framework for smart grid AMI market opportunities that include evaluating existing market opportunities, evaluating internal company strengths, beginning R&D and product/service testing, securing smart grid ecosystem business partners, starting strategy & product/service launch planning, and executing marketing & sales strategy.

Report researchers say product testing and identifying partners at the early stages of the game will mitigate the risks and liabilities by both major players and start-ups.

A company should also consider the financial resources they have access to (e.g. government subsidies), existing customer base, relationships with utilities and key smart-grid integrators, as well as identify areas to participate in smart-grid pilots and AMI programs in preparation for a product/service launch, according to the report.

The report also finds that inadequate evaluation of existing market opportunities and internal company strengths could lead to a poor and costly decision to move forward; when the most opportune decision could be to mitigate risk by not entering the market or delay entry into the market, says Zpryme.

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