Analyst firm Berg Insight, based in Sweden, says that the worldwide installed base of smart electricity meters will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26.6 percent between 2010 and 2016 to reach 602.7 million. It projects that penetration rates for smart metering technology will increase from around 15 to 25 percent today to around 50 percent in Europe and North America, and to more than 75 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.
And by 2020, Berg Insight says penetration rates for smart meters are expected to approach 100 percent in most developed countries, with massive rollouts also taking place in new smart meter territories such as Latin America, India and the Middle East.
The author of the report, Tobias Ryberg, said, "Securing a sustainable supply of energy will be one of the greatest challenges for mankind in the 21st century. Smart grid technologies will make a major contribution to achieving this goal by improving the efficiency at all levels of the electricity supply chain from generation to transmission, distribution and consumption.
"Smart meters are the gateways that connect consumers to the smart grid and enable them to interact with other players in the ecosystem."
While China and other countries in East Asia are at what Ryberg calls an early phase of adoption, they have aggresive installation plans. For example, the State Grid Corporation of China is currently deploying 50 to 60 million advanced electricity meters per year, with the goal of a nationwide smart metering network within five years.