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2012 could be turning point for smart meters

Tuesday 14th February 2012

This year could see the turning point for Europe-wide smart meter implementations, with a new report from Frost & Sullivan stating that Europe will experience a five-fold growth in installed smart meters by 2017, rising from 43.9m in 2010 to 200.43m.

According to the report, growth will accelerate post 2012, once the standardisation mandate is published, providing a platform for future innovation and development of smart meters across Europe.

But until that point, it seems smart meter implementations may remain disparate between European countries. As the report’s author, Neha Vikash, points out, Europe is a market “where the smart meter and smart grid markets are legislation driven” and the different regulatory challenges faced by each country is directly impacting rollout plans.

For example, while a large-scale rollout is planned in the UK, the Government has recently stated that it will not be rolling out smart meter technology on a compulsory basis, following discontent from consumer groups and the public around data security and health issues. France, Spain and Portugal are set to join the UK in large-scale implementations, while Sweden and Italy already lead the smart meter drive as the only mature markets in Europe.

2012 could see the turning point for this disparity, as the EC standardisation mandate on smart utility meters promises a common standard for the development of smart meters across Europe, providing the catalyst for accelerated rollouts that will help to meet the Europe-wide target of 80% smart meter penetration in households by 2020.

 

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