Study projects 74.6 million smart meters to be shipped annually by 2015

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Framingham, Mass., March 14, 2011 IDC Energy Insights announced the availability of a new data product the Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker forecasting a worldwide compound annual growth rate of 13 percent in smart meter unit shipments from 2010 to 2015 and a total of 460.9 million smart meters shipped through the forecast period.

Over the past year, growth in the market was driven strongly by government stimulus funding, which helped accelerate the speed at which projects were deployed, especially in the U.S.

While the speed of market adoption in the U.S. and EMEA has driven recent growth, looking forward, IDC Energy Insights forecasts that adoption in Europe and Asia/Pacific, mainly China, will act as the primary catalyst for market growth for the next 5-10 years.

“The bubble of opportunity for smart meter and communications vendors to capitalize on the expected growth of this market is now,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, IDC Energy Insights Tracker products. “Recent data from our Smart Meter Tracker research program clearly shows that both governments and vendors, including IT powerhouses like HP and IBM, will drive the deployment of smart meters and smart grid initiatives worldwide. We expect this space to quickly move from 5-7 strong vendors today to a competitive landscape of regional manufacturers competing for high-profile contracts in emerging markets.”

Market penetration of smart meters is widely considered to be a key enabler of the smart grid.

“These smart meter deployments represent the first wave of smart grid investment by utility companies worldwide,” said Rick Nicholson, group vice president, IDC Energy Insights. “Once the smart meters and communication networks are in place, we expect to see additional investment on the customer side of the meter in home energy management and smart building technologies as well as on the utility side of the meter in distribution management and distribution automation.”

The Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker also identifies top vendors in the market and ranks them by market share based on shipments.

Top 5 Vendors, North American Shipments, 2010
Rank Vendor Market Share (percent)

1. Itron 35.7 percent

2. Landis+Gyr 26.3 percent

3. Sensus 19.5 percent

4. GE 10.9 percent

5. Elster 6.9 percent

Additional vendor data reveals:

“- Top vendors of communications modules in North America include Itron, Silver Spring Networks, Sensus, Landis+Gyr, Elster, Alcara and Trilliant.

“- In EMEA, the top 5 smart meter vendors for 2010 shipments include Itron, Enel, Landis+Gyr, Echelon and Iskraemeco.

According to IDC Energy Insights, smart meters are defined as solid-state electric meters with integrated two-way communications capabilities.

Smart meters support multiple wireless and power line communications technologies and enable a range of energy efficiency and demand response applications.

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