Global smart meter shipments are projected to increase from 60 million units in 2012 to 165 million units in 2020. The market was valued at USD 11 billion in 2013. Total global revenues may cross USD 22 billion by 2020.
Higher global focus on conserving energy is prompting governments to encourage widespread installation of smart meters. Smart meters help consumers to regularly monitor power consumption and thus lower peak electricity demand. Promotion of green energy and efficient transmission of electricity indicate a promising outlook for the future.
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Electricity suppliers also benefit from these meters in multiple ways. Reaction time for resolving power outages and hardware faults is reduced. On-site visits and manual readings are not required. Convenient remote reading improves customer service. Growing awareness of the advantages offered by smart meters will aid market growth.
An important feature of smart meters is their ability to share real time information pertaining to usage and tariff rates. This benefit resonates across the value chain. However, lack of standardized technology and inconsistent regional deployment may inhibit market growth.
The global smart meters market can be segmented on the basis of applications and regions. Main application categories are commercial, residential and industrial. Commercial segment held more than 34% of the total market in 2013. It includes commercial establishments like residential lodges, offices, hotels, shopping complexes, etc. Electricity meters that offer high levels of flexibility and robustness are a prerequisite for this segment.
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Residential applications encompass suburban and urban apartments, standalone autonomous bungalows. They accounted for 61.9 million smart meter units in 2013. Installations could grow at a CAGR of 9.9% from 2014 to 2020. This segment will lead the market in terms of volume over the next six years.
Regional wise, there are four segments viz. Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). North America and Europe will witness sound growth driven by supportive administrative policies and regulations. In fact, Europe would attain the fastest growth (CAGR of 9.5% from 2014 to 2020) in terms of revenues.
Asia Pacific, which accounted for 49% of the global volumes in 2012, will dominate in terms of volumes. China, which plans to implement smart grids for sustainable energy management, will be a key contributor to this dominance.
Eminent market participants include Echelon Corporation, Sensus USA Inc., Itron Inc., and Landis+Gyr. Mergers, acquisitions, vertical integration are the favored growth strategies.
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