Water Utilities Drive Global Smart Meter Connection Growth to 1.2 Billion Connections in 2022

Power Utilities Initiatives Witness a Slow Down
29 Mar 2017

ABI Research forecasts smart metering connections across the electricity, water, and gas markets will witness double-digit growth through 2022 with smart water meter installation driving the global market. While North America had the largest install base of smart water meters in 2016, the European market will marginally overtake connection growth and hold the largest install base by 2018.

As more people migrate from rural areas to urban cities, increasing water security concerns will fuel smart water meter growth. Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network technologies both cellular and non-cellular connectivity solutions will also further enable water utilities to incorporate smart metering into their organizational workflows. Across all metering markets, smart meter rollouts are predominantly driven by regulatory mandates based on government policy.

“Except for China, the pace of smart electricity meter installations will slow down in the short term,” says Adarsh Krishnan, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “This is due to the delayed implementation of large metering projects planned for Western Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region.”

For instance, the UK government, which first mandated a nationwide rollout of smart meters by 2014, is still experiencing delays; UK smart meter penetration rates are still less than 10% at the end of 2016. In India, of 15 ongoing pilot projects, seven projects have not yet started.  In Brazil, energy regulatory agency ANEEL changed its ambitious goal of replacing all electricity meters with smart meters to requiring only new builds use smart meters.

Sensus, now part of Xylem Group and an incumbent leader in smart water metering, will witness increasing competition from OEMs such as Arad and Kamstrup, both of which added non-cellular LPWA network connectivity to their existing portfolio of solutions. Additionally, the roll-out of the cellular LPWA technology NB-IoT in Europe and Asia will further drive market activity as telcos offer managed smart water metering solutions.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Utilities and Smart Grids report.

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