Market Research and Insight

New Greenbang research Utilities must be open with consumers about privacy issues The European smart electricity meter market is set to undergo rapid growth,...

New Greenbang research

Utilities must be open with consumers about privacy issues

The European smart electricity meter market is set to undergo rapid growth, with 133 million to 145 million new meters to be installed by 2020.

Sustainability research house Greenbang’s latest report, “Europe’s smart meter outlook for 2020: a market worth $25bn”, also finds that consumer perception around security of data could be an obstacle to growth. And that countries will only hit ambitious targets through effective public/private sector engagement and the development of a common set of smart meter standards.

With UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne having recently outlined the importance of introducing smart meters in his plans to transform Britain’s power system – cutting carbon emissions by 80% in the process – the humble smart meter is expected to play an increasingly high profile role in the evolution of the UK energy markets.

“Countries across the EU are pushing to increase their homegrown production of clean energy,” said Shirley Siluk Gregory, lead author of the study. “Managing the intermittent nature of such energy sources — as well as building an infrastructure that can support electric cars — will take much smarter grid technology than we use today. Smart meters are an essential and primary element in implementing that strategy.”

According to the research, over the next ten years the European smart meter market will be valued at $25bn, with Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland becoming key drivers for future growth. This represents a significant growth trajectory, based on current installation base estimates and represents real potential for future market investment and growth.

“Despite the relatively low existing installation base, government initiatives and incentives are set to play a critical role in the rapid growth in this specialist area of the energy monitoring market,” said Dan Ilett, Director, Greenbang Research.

“As of 2010, the current installed base of smart meters in Europe is estimated at just under 53 million units.  However, with the EU already having set a goal of installing smart meters in 80 per cent of households within ten years, European member states are beginning to digest the guidelines, legislate and bring their own plans to life.

“While the market potential is clear, there are a number of significant challenges that need to be successfully overcome if these market valuations are to be achieved.  Most pressingly, these include developing a unifying set of industry standards for market operators to adhere to, as well as overcoming wider public skepticism associated with handling sensitive customer data.”

Greenbang Research’s new report, “Europe’s smart meter outlook for 2020: a market worth $25bn” is the first of its kind to evaluate the European smart meter market potential. [More detail of what is in report]

A copy of the report can be purchased and downloaded by visiting Greenbang.com/smartmeter2020

Dan Ilett