There will be 600M smart meters by 2016

The Internet of energy is rapidly approaching. According to research firm Berg Insight, there will be 602.7 million smart meters installed throughout the world by 2o16. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 26.6 percent between 2010 and 2016.

Penetration rates for smart meter tech are supposed to reach 50 percent in Europe and the U.S. and 75 percent in Asia by 2016. And by 2020, there is expected to be a 100 percent penetration rate in most developed countries, with more rollouts happening in India and developing countries in South America.

In Europe, the market push behind the smart meter rollouts come from a federal mandate, and in the U.S., it’s a combination of aggressive states, like California and Texas, and funds from the federal stimulus package. Japan, South Korea and China are also quickly rolling out smart meters, with China’s State Grid Corporation deploying 50 to 60 million smart meters per year.

I think the stats are important to point out, because when you hear about some of the media reports on negative pushback against smart meters in a few tiny communities in California, you might start to wonder if worldwide smart meter installations are really going to happen. The answer is yes. Yes, it’s happening, and quickly. That 600 million figure is for just five years from now.

Once smart meters are installed on most buildings and houses, then a more useful energy network can be developed, where utilities can create a two-way connection between their customer and themselves. Utilities will also be installing communication devices and networks on crucial parts of their grid to more easily detect outages, to shed load when needed and to monitor important gear like substations.

Image courtesy of akpoff