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Smart electricity meter penetration set to grow across Asia

More than 570 million meters will be deployed across China, India, Japan and South Korea between now and 2025, according to research from Internet of Things analyst, Berg Insight.

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Japan and South Korea will be the next markets to reach nationwide smart meter coverage
Japan and South Korea will be the next markets to reach nationwide smart meter coverage

More than 570 million smart electricity meters will be deployed in Asian markets across China, India, Japan and South Korea between now and 2025, according to research from Internet of Things (IoT) analyst, Berg Insight.

 

The study reports that at the end of 2019, overall smart meter penetration stood at 69 per cent in these markets, corresponding to an installed base of 653.3 million units.

 

Nationwide coverage

 

While China has already completed first-wave roll-outs, Japan and South Korea will be the next markets to reach nationwide coverage with likely completion in the next three- to four years. India had only reached a penetration of around one per cent at the end of 2020 but is expected to be the main driver behind overall smart meter penetration growth in Asia-Pacific in the coming years.

The Chinese market is expected to account for as much as 70-80 per cent of smart electricity meter demand across Asia in the next few years with refreshment rounds replacing early smart meter installations beginning at a larger scale in the country. This demand continues to be fulfilled entirely by domestic manufacturers of which many have now grown to match the largest global smart metering players in terms of output and revenues.

 

“More advanced meter requirements along with growing demand for new use cases in the domestic market are now also strengthening the competitiveness of Chinese vendors in the global smart metering market,” said Levi Ostling, smart metering analyst, Berg Insight.

 

These vendors are making strong inroads into fast-growing smart metering markets such as Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

At the same time, the Indian smart metering market has in recent time faced difficulties in ramping up its smart metering deployments.

“More advanced meter requirements along with growing demand for new use cases in the domestic market are now also strengthening the competitiveness of Chinese vendors in the global smart metering market”

“Ambitious targets to roll out some 250 million smart meters within just a few years’ time has so far failed to materialise, with the installed base of such devices merely doubling over the past two years to reach a modest three million units at the end of 2020,” added Ostling.

 

The country has, however, been severely affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and heavy lockdowns meant that smart meter deployments were at a complete standstill during the greater part of 2020. During the second half of 2020, tender activity started to pick up pace and a new funding scheme tentatively called Samarth and worth up to INR 4 trillion is currently under consideration by the government.

 

Overall, Berg Insight forecasts that the Indian market will experience a compound annual growth rate of 76.2 per cent during the forecast period and account for as much as 15-20 per cent of smart meter shipments in Asia in 2025.

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