Annual shipments of smart electricity meters in Europe are set to more than double over the next two years as the market accelerates and more utility providers adopt the technology to meet consumer demand for greater control over their power usage.
Shipments are forecasted to increase from 13.5m units in 2016 to 27.6m in 2018, an increase of 105 per cent, and expected to continue at a rate of 25-30m units per year until the end of the decade.
"The European smart meter market benefits from two concurrent positive developments at the same time," said Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight, who carried out the research. "Firstly, the long-anticipated mass rollouts in France and the UK are finally getting underway.
"Secondly, Enel is on the verge of launching the second wave of smart meter deployments in Italy as the first generation devices reach the end of their technical lifespan of 12-15 years."
The report by Berg Insight also identifies Austria, Ireland, Spain, Romania, Norway and the Netherlands as other key hotspots for smart meters in the coming years, while Germany remains behind the curve.
Even though the country has recently adopted a new regulatory framework for smart meters, large-scale deployments are likely to be some years off. Germany will only make smart meters mandatory for around 10 per cent of electricity customers before 2028, and Berg predicts there is not likely to be a full-scale rollout in the country until the 2030s.