The number of smart meters installed in Europe will reach more than 130 million devices by 2016, according to a new research report from Berg Insight. The study also concluded the installed base of smart electricity meters will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 19.4 percent between 2010 and 2016. Annual investments in smart metering technology are expected to surpass € 3 billion by the mid-2010s. Following major deployments in Italy and throughout the Nordic countries, smart meters are currently being rolled out on a substantial scale in Spain, France, and the UK.
Smart meters are the cornerstone of establishing a smart grid, enabling consumers to better manage their energy usage as well as providing financial incentives for energy conservation. Smart grids will be necessary to support electric vehicle charging, renewable micro-generation, and advanced energy conservation.
Berg Insight senior analyst Tobias Ryberg explains, “Endesa has commenced with a rollout to 12.9 million customers in Spain and the second largest electricity network operator Iberdrola will follow. ERDF is awaiting formal approval from the government for a nationwide rollout to 33 million customers in France and in the UK the leading energy suppliers British Gas and E.ON have committed to the deployment of several million smart meters prior to the start of a mass rollout in 2014. By that time there will also be massive installations in additional countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland and Norway.”
There are now also plans for the first major smart metering projects in Central Eastern Europe. CEZ in the Czech Republic and Energa in Poland have announced large scale pilots as the first step towards full-scale installations. Energa’s goal is to achieve full coverage for smart meters among its three million electricity customers by 2017.