The global market for smart meters will plateau for the next few years before taking off again in 2015 when major European projects come on line, according to a new study from IMS Research. According to EE Times, continued growth is highly dependent on developing economies such as China, Brazil and India.
Of those, China is currently the only significant market. China snapped up 40 million meters in 2011, most of them with simple AMR-style one-way communications.
"The adoption of these simpler communicating meters reflects the difference in drivers in China when compared to Western Europe and North America," the report said. "Rather than focusing on next-generation functionality such as voltage optimization or demand response, utilities here are more concerned with energy theft through meter tampering or bribes to readers. Brazil, India, and many other developing countries face similar challenges and may also see the need for simpler one-way style communicating meters to be installed in order to curtail non-technical losses."
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