Futuristic Smart Meters Are Driving Grid Intelligence to New Heights
Smart meters are slowly unlocking the future for a smart energy system that’s main function is to deliver cost-effective, secure and clean energy. Smart meters are slowly paving the way for a futuristic energy system.
This will not only enhance renewable energy generation and lower emissions but also give intrinsic opportunities to organizations for innovation in order to support a broader digital economy.
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Asian countries are poised to be the leaders in this space and it is predicted that nearly 70% of all homes in this region will have access to smart meters.
The advantages of smart meters such as accuracy in billing, reduced operational costs and the elimination of meter readings are going to propel the smart meters market to newer heights.
Towards this, IoT smart meters are capturing a major stake in the smart meters market. This turnkey service will entail remote monitoring in order to record consumption indexes, introduce reliable billing, give out alarm notices in case of fraud and cut off power supply of customers who have not paid their bill. Demand forecasting is also something smart meters can accomplish.
For instance, advanced analytics are performed on smart meter data. These smart predictions help energy suppliers to balance out supply and demand to prevent black-outs. The data is collated and connected with the help of smart meters and sensors placed throughout the supply grid.
Through historical data, predictions can be made on how energy will be needed for the future. With a wide variety of ‘smart solutions’, manufacturers can glean information on the ‘up and coming’ technologies in the smart meters market.
Smart meters market project to multiply in low double digit growth
The growing inclination of people towards energy efficiency has triggered the growth of smart meters market in the recent past. Furthermore, government policies supporting the installation of smart meters have led to their faster adoption, especially in the developed countries.
The governments in several countries, as a part of clean energy initiative, have issued regulations mandating the use of smart meters. For instance, the U.K. government has targeted the deployment of around 50 million smart electric and gas meters in business centers and residences by 2020.
Smart gas meters prevails the smart meters market growth
Smart meters comprises smart electric meters, smart water meters and smart gas meters. Smart electric meters hold the largest share in the smart meters market. The traditional electric meters are being replaced by smart electric meters, especially in the developed countries. Electric power system is undergoing a transformation with the integration of newer technologies such as smart meters.
Although it is more than a decade since electric meters were first deployed, now electric companies have started to focus on creating value form the data and capabilities that smart meters enable. Smart electric meters convey the real-time information about the usage of electricity and removes the hassle of personnel visiting the premises to note the reading.
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The demand for smart gas meters is expected to grow at the highest pace during the forecast period. Based on end-users, residential end-users dominate the demand for smart meters. However, the adoption of smart meters is faster in commercial and industrial applications.
Loaded with features, smart meters to add utility and awareness
The improvement in display technology has not only impacted the televisions and smartphone users but also the users of electricity and gas with smart meters.
The in-home display for smart meter lets the user know the energy usage pattern at different times of day, week, month or year. A smart meter, thus makes the user aware about their usage so that they can manage their use of appliances to fall under the desired bill bracket.
Targeting distribution and transmission loss with smart meters
The governments in several countries have been targeting to increase the energy efficiency and reduce the distribution and transmission loss through the use of smart meters. With this effect, the governments of several countries have been rolling out regulations and mandates, as well as commercializing smart grids.
It is observed that with the deployment of high-speed communication networks and advanced sensors on transmission systems the controlling and monitoring operations across the transmission grid at high-voltage substations have improved. This has further strengthened the cause to install smart meters.
Government funding boosting the demand for smart meters
The deployment of smart meters have been observed to gain momentum with the government funding. The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) in 2009 launched the smart grid investment grant (SGIG) program, which was funded with US$ 3.4 billion.
This investment was also targeted to increase the number of smart meters in the U.S. The U.K. government has planned to equip every household in the country with a smart meter. Though it seems a difficult target as the energy companies would require to install 30 smart meters per minute to achieve its deadline.
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has recently invested heavily in energy grid modernization. Since smart meters enable two-way power and information flows to improve visibility into the energy grid, FPL has installed 4.9 million smart meters. On the other hand, Pacific Gas & Electric has installed 5.3 million smart meters in 2016.
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Smart meters – a highly competitive market
The smart meters market is highly competitive due to the presence of large number of manufacturers. The key players in the smart meters market include Itron Inc, Iskraemeco d.d, Landis+Gyr Ag, Osaka Electric Co. Ltd, Elster Group GmbH, Siemens AG, General Electric Company, ICSA(India) Limited, Schneider Electric Sa, and Holley Metering Ltd.
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