France ordering 3 million smart meters -- with 32 million more to come


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: Although it may seem like a ho-hum progress announcement, the news of the first wave of French smart meters actually contains hints of future directions that may influence smart meters everywhere.  - Jesse Berst


Eager to move out of the recession, the French government has unveiled a $15 billion plan to invest in fiber-optic telecommunications, smart meters and other digital infrastructure. However, the "Invest in France" program will not actually launch until 2016, according to the Financial Times. What's more, the program is only one third the size of the investment plan that had been in place under former President Nicolas Sarkozy.


The bulk of money will go to research and universities, funding the shift to more efficient and renewable forms of energy, and to the aerospace, digital and health industries. But a portion will go to 3 million smart meters. A formal request for those meters proposals will be produced this summer. As reported by M2M World News and, the meters will:

·         Follow the Linky template that has been tested in more than 350,000 homes and businesses since 2009

·         Will be manufactured in France for as much as 80% of the meter

·         Use broadband over powerline

·         Eventually be exported by French utility giant EDF

·         Lead to about 5,000 installation jobs and 5,000 permanent jobs

·         Be capable of communicating with smart appliances

·         Eventually number roughly 35 million when the smart meter rollout is complete in 2020


"These new meters will make life easier for users through remote reading, will help them manage their electricity consumption with better information, and will allow the development of new services as the autopilot of the electrical devices in the home," said French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault at the launch.


The French government has also earmarked another $26 billion to bring superfast broadband to everyone within 10 years.


Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.


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