The global smart meter market is growing fast

The global smart meter market is growing fast

Smart meters are making a difference to consumers and businesses worldwide, with no signs of stopping. Let’s find out more.
We talk extensively about the UK’s smart meter rollout, its setbacks and successes. However, it’s clear that smart meters are becoming a global phenomenon. A new study from Fortune Business Insights on the worldwide market for smart meters predicts impressive growth over the next few years. In this article, we’ll look at the numbers that matter in the global smart meter market. We’ll also look at why smart meter use is growing across the world.

Bouncing back

The Fortune Business Insights study reports that in 2020, the size of the global smart meter market was $19.4 billion.
Of course, 2020 (and COVID-19) was a disaster for most businesses and markets across the globe. The smart meter market was no exception, as evidenced by the near halt of the UK’s smart meter rollout. The impact of the pandemic was a 9.6% decline in global market value.
Today, demand for smart meters is returning to levels seen before the pandemic, with greater growth predicted. The market is forecasted to grow by 8.1% every year between 2021 and 2028. By 2028, it should be worth a staggering $36 billion.
This is the situation; the question is, why are smart meters in such demand at this point in time? Here are four reasons.

1 – Government programmes

The UK is taking the lead with its smart meter rollout. While it hasn’t been totally smooth sailing, the UK government’s programme, with rigid completion targets and support for suppliers, has meant that a large proportion of UK homes and offices now have smart meters installed. Other countries are starting to follow suit, pushing up the demand for smart meters.
More people own more power-consuming appliances than ever before. Every day, people are buying TVs, computers, refrigerators, air conditioning units and more. This increase in consumption means that governments have to manage their grid systems more effectively to prevent power failures and blackouts. Smart meters allow real-time monitoring. National utilities can use their data to match supply and demand, and boost grid resilience.
The region where smart meter demand is growing quickest is the Asia Pacific. Governments in the area, including those of China, Japan, India and Australia, are investing in grid digitalisation to enable energy companies to make a real-time analysis of power consumption and better manage demand. Between 2018 and 2027, it is predicted that Asia Pacific governments will invest up to $9.8 billion in digitalisation programmes.
Smart meters are the tools that bring these projects to life as they accurately measure consumption and transmit information back to energy suppliers. Getting them into homes and businesses is key to these government programmes’ success. They will be in high demand in this region of the world.

2 – Smart cities

More people in the world live in cities than ever before. City planners worldwide are adapting to this growth in urbanisation by implementing ‘smart city’ measures driven by connected cloud-based technology. Smart meters are an essential part of these smart city initiatives.
Smart cities depend on unified one-stop-shop platforms that monitor power production and consumption, allocate power to the right places and prevent blackouts. These platforms collate data from electricity, gas and water usage, as well as street lighting, waste management and anywhere else that involves a transfer of energy. Of course, smart meters in homes and businesses are an integral part of feeding information into these platforms. As more cities across the globe go ‘smart’, watch the demand for meters rise dramatically.

3 – Electric vehicles

More and more drivers are going electric in a bid to save money and reduce carbon emissions. Between 2020 and 2021, US electric vehicle (EV) sales grew by a breathtaking 85%. As the world works out how to deal with the current record-high petrol prices, expect EV sales to skyrocket further. However, the average range of an electric vehicle is around 190 miles, so they need to be charged regularly. This increase in charging will cause dramatic strains on the national grid.
Smart meters are essential for monitoring energy usage in real-time and managing demand, making sure everyone can charge their EVs as well as doing everything else they want to do. One possible measure energy suppliers can take is offering time-of-use tariffs to incentivise consumers to charge their EVs at times when power demand is low.

4 – Consumers see the value of smart meters

Every day, consumers worldwide are looking for ways to save money on their energy bills. At the time of writing, energy prices in most countries in the world are at record levels, with little sign of easing. Consumers are also more environmentally conscious than ever before and are always interested in ways to reduce the causes of climate change.
Smart meters tick all the boxes for money and climate-conscious consumers. With a smart meter, you get:

  • Accurate billing – no more estimated bills
  • Convenience – say goodbye to manual meter readings
  • Real-time energy use information nudges you towards saving energy – great for your bank account and the planet

It’s no surprise that more and more people are asking to get smart meters installed in their homes. It’s the right thing to do.

Here to stay

It’s great to see the smart meter revolution taking hold in countries across the world. Of course, there will be challenges; the high upfront cost of these ambitious projects could be an issue, especially in today’s volatile economy. However, you can never stop progress, and it looks like the smart meter is here to stay.

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