Greentech Lead Asia: Shipments of smart meters have
reached nearly 73 million in 2011. Deployments in China drove most of this
annual volume (71 percent).
The pace of smart meter and smart grid deployments slowed
in the fourth quarter of 2011, however, as some projects wound down and fewer
new big projects were announced, according to Pike Research.
Overall smart meter shipments in the last three months of
the year slipped nearly 8 percent from 3Q 2011. Global smart meter shipments
reached 17.8 million in Q4 2011, with China accounting for 12.3 million of
“For the full year, shipments of smart meters were
strong, and that’s the good news for the industry. However, there is also a
cloud in this picture as the volume of new deployment announcements was
relatively weak, indicating that perhaps for the first time we’ve arrived at a
market peak,” said senior analyst Neil Strother.
Utilities in other countries made significant smart meter
announcements during 2011.
In Canada, Hydro-Quebec selected Landis+Gyr to supply
most of its planned 3.75 million smart meters, while BC Hydro selected Itron to
provide 1.8 million OpenWay meters over the next two years.
In the U.S., Consumers Energy would use SmartSynch’s
communications network technology for 1.8 million smart meters to be deployed
starting in August 2012.
Several new smart grid deployments announced during Q4
2011 came from medium-sized and smaller utilities. In the U.S., Lafayette
Utilities System chose Elster as its vendor for a smart grid deployment to
66,000 of its customers. In North Carolina, Wake Electric selected a Sensus AMI
system for its 35,000 members.
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, British Gas said it was
halting further installations of smart meters until the government clarified
its smart meter plans.