By Kari Williamson
While smart meter developments are taking place in countries like Denmark, Finland and Norway, large scale roll-out has been planned in countries such as UK, France, Spain and Portugal to meet the energy targets and environmental policies set by the EU. Currently Sweden and Italy are the only mature markets in Europe.
Frost & Sullivan's report, European Smart Meter Markets, finds that the smart meter revenue in Europe is expected to grow from US$318.4 million in 2010 to US$1.93 billion in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.3%.
The smart meter installed base in Europe is expected to grow from 43.90m in 2010 to 200.43m in 2017 at a CAGR of 24.2%.
The market foresees larger growth post 2012 with the publishing of the standardisation mandate. Standardisation is expected to affect the future development and innovation of smart meters.
Europe is a push market where the smart meter and smart grid markets are legislation driven. There is region-wise disparity due to the different regulatory challenges faced by each country, thus having a direct impact on implementation.
"The smart meter market is expected to prosper, owing to the recent impetus from renewable energy and smart grid implementation," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Neha Vikash. "Smart meters are required for integration of renewable energy. Europe is focussed on meeting the 20-20-20 targets which is a necessary driver for increase in renewable energy and the third energy directive targets 80% smart meter penetration in the residential sector by 2020."
Only 20 vendors
Currently, the European smart meter market has less than 20 vendor companies. The competition among manufacturers, utilities, ICT, network, remote monitoring and automation companies is high and it is forecast to increase along with new participants entering the market. In particular, Chinese and other Asian companies will start to make their appearance in this market during the next 1-2 years, the analyst predicts.