Investments in intelligent metering solutions in the European energy sector will total Ђ 3.5 billion until 2010, according to new a research report from the analysis firm Berg Insight. ´Demand for intelligent metering solutions is closely linked to energy cost´, says Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight. ´Already most industrial and large commercial sites are covered with intelligent metering.
In a second phase we now see deployments of smart meters for residential customers in countries with high electricity prices or high electricity consumption.” Sweden, where households use three times more electric power than the EU-average, will introduce a law that will lead to intelligent metering for all customers by 2009. Norway and Finland have similar consumption patterns and also experience rapid deployment of smart meters on strict commercial terms. The new technology is also adopted in Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands, which have the highest electricity prices in the EU.
When deploying intelligent metering, energy companies increasingly look beyond the basic task of collecting meter readings. Modern AMM (Automated Meter Management) solutions enable a range of applications including remote monitoring, demand-side management and value added services such as security alarms. New communication technologies, particularly GPRS, are also making headway as alternatives to conventional power-line carrier. About 35 percent of the 3.4 million smart meters currently under contract in Sweden will be connected to mobile networks.