The global smart meters market accounted for $13.1 billion revenue in 2019, and it is expected to reach $20.0 billion in 2030. The increasing residential construction activities, coupled with the energy infrastructure modernization programs of governments, such as the EU 20–20–20 policy, which aim to convert the installed meter base to a smart one, are providing impetus to the demand for smart meters across the world. The increasing smart meter deployment for accurate billing, in conjunction with energy conservation, is the other driving factor for the smart meters industry.
With globalization, supply chains across the world have become more interconnected. However, the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chains has been significant, with electric component and appliance manufacturing sectors facing headwinds owing to the reduced availability of raw materials. The disruption in the supply chain of components used in smart meters, such as displays, sensors, switches, and processors, has impacted the manufacturing of smart meters, thus restraining the growth of the market. China is a major supplier of raw materials and hardware components for meters, and due to the pandemic, the supply chain has been severely affected here, which has resulted in a dip in the sales of smart meters.
Water Meter Category To Witness Fastest Growth
In the meter type segment of the global smart meters market, the water meter category is projected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. This can be mainly attributed to the increasing deployment of water meters by consumers to keep track of their water consumption, monitor pressure, leakage, and wastage with the help of inbuilt sensors, and carry out data analysis to optimize their water usage. Further, the rising awareness about the depleting water sources and importance of precise meter readings are contributing to the adoption of smart water meters around the world.
Based on application, the residential category held the largest share in the historical period (2014–2019), and it is projected to continue its dominance throughout the forecast period. The dominating share of this category can be attributed to the fact that residential units generate the highest demand for smart meters globally. Residential units, including suburban/urban apartments and autonomous houses, are the major users of smart meters in the world. Other factors that are contributing to the adoption of smart meters in the residential sector are the energy saving, fraud detection, and prepayment facilities enabled by these devices.
Geographically, Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to continue leading the smart meters market in the coming years, owing to the supportive government initiatives in several countries of the region for the installation of these devices. For instance, as part of a five-year nationwide plan to upgrade the grid infrastructure, utilities in China continue to install a large number of smart meters. Countries in APAC have realized the need to modernize their grid network, in line with international standards, address energy challenges, and improve the utility revenue collection process. The expansion of smart grid infrastructure will further encourage the deployment of smart meters across the region, thereby boosting the market growth.
Partnerships Are among Most-Important Strategic Developments
Companies operating in the global smart meters market have opted for the strategy of partnering with other leading players in the industry, utilities, government of various countries, and regional/local players, to expand their reach and offer an improved product portfolio to users.
For instance, in January 2020, Itron Inc. announced a sales and integration collaboration with Innowatts, a provider of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)-enabled predictive analytics and AI-based solutions. Under this collaboration, the companies will provide AI-driven data insights for predictive analysis, allowing users to enhance their energy experience and boost grid stability.
Similarly, in September 2019, Landis+Gyr partnered with GeoPal Solutions to strengthens its offerings for smart metering field operations, by combining its AMI deployment and operations experience with an Android mobile application and digital platform hosted by GeoPal Solutions.
Siemens AG, Itron Inc., Iskraemeco d.d., Landis+Gyr, Osaki Electric Co. Ltd., Holley Metering Ltd., Elster Group GmbH, Schneider Electric SE, Enel S.p.A., and Sagemcom are the major players operating in the global smart meters market.