Smart meters: What we're learning in Europe (I found #12 most intriguing)



Quick Take:  Berg Insight is out with its latest "Smart Metering in Europe" research report. I've listed 12 highlights below. I found item #12 the most intriguing. Until recently, Europe has been a wireless holdout. But once its system is fully deployed, the UK will become the world's largest wireless smart meter deployment to date. Equally intriguing, it is largely a cellular solution.


Here in the U.S., many utilities remain skeptical about cellular. They say they are concerned about cost, but also about reliability during natural disasters (and about their ability to go to the front of the line when cell towers are overwhelmed during emergencies).


Click the link to read the summary and TOC and get details about ordering the full report. - By Jesse Berst


1. The European Union has 281 million metered electricity customers (of all kinds).


2. Twenty-two percent (22%) of those are smart meters.


3. Almost all European countries have performed a cost-benefit analysis for smart metering.


4. Most of those analyses recommended full deployment. However, Germany has decided to delay until at least 2020.


5. As of the end of 2013, 13 European countries had developed regulatory roadmaps for full deployment of smart meters, and five more were close to closure.


6. Smart meter penetration will increase to 60% by 2019.


7. The installed base of smart meters will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.5% to reach 170 million units by 2019.


8. Smart meter installations will primarily be driven by large rollouts in Spain (29 million), France (35 million) and the UK (53 million counting both electricity and gas).


9. Austria and Norway will announce their selection of vendors and technologies by the end of 2014.


10. The high growth rate of smart meters will slow towards the end of the decade once the large rollouts are completed.


11. "The year 2013 marked a major breakthrough for the use of wireless technologies in the European smart metering market," reports the Berg Insight summary. "The UK broke with the trend from Italy, Spain and France and opted for a combination of cellular and wireless mesh technologies. Telefónica... will install around 23 million communication hubs in what will become the world’s largest wireless M2M deployment to date."


12. A 2G/3G cellular network will cover 98% of the population, with the remaining 2% served by wireless mesh.


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


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