Worldwide shipments of communication-enabled meters will grow to more than 100 million units annually in 2014, according to IHS Inc.
An estimated 82 million units shipped in 2013, the research firm said. It expects annual shipments of these meters to remain above the 100-million level until 2017 and perhaps longer.
This healthy shipment level expectation comes despite several negative factors.
* a rapidly decreasing North American market, resulting from the drying up of government funding
* watered-down meter legislation in Latin America
* further delays to long-expected smart meter rollouts in the European Union
But there is good news for this industry as well.
"China's massive infrastructure-modernization effort includes a continuing countrywide overhaul of old metering systems, and that can make a big difference in a country of well over 400 million metering endpoints," said Jacob Pereira, IHS analyst for smart utilities infrastructure. "In addition, recent announcements from some of the larger EU economies have added clarity to when their long-anticipated rollouts will begin in earnest, charging up the market."
Still, he said, most of the communicating meters being installed in Chinese homes and businesses do not meet the "smart" criterion. "These meters are simple one-way communicating devices used for automatic meter reading, not the advanced functions usually associated with the word 'smart.' However, the European meter rollouts expected to start up within the next few years will generally incorporate multiple other features."
to Daily News