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Nigeria, others lags in smart meter deployment- report

Nigeria, others lags in smart meter deployment- report

Nigeria and other African countries find itself significantly trailing in the deployment of smart meters, according to recent data analysing the global smart meter landscape,

The report, which assessed smart meter installations worldwide, revealed that by the close of 2023, a staggering 1.06 billion smart meters, covering electricity, water, and gas, had been installed globally.

Smart meters play a crucial role in enabling utility service providers worldwide to digitise their distribution infrastructure efficiently, thanks to the near real-time data they provide.

While regions like North America, some parts of Europe, and East Asia exhibit high rates of smart meter adoption, Africa, alongside South Asia and Latin America, presents immense potential for growth in this sector.

Read also: NERC mulls prepaid meter price hike citing forex

The study, conducted by IoT Analytics’ Global Smart Meter Marker Tracker 2020-2030, highlights the importance of updating aging grid infrastructure, prompting various regional governments to engage more actively with smart grid industry stakeholders to develop regulatory policies aimed at driving smart meter adoption.

North America emerges as the leader in the smart electricity meter market, boasting nearly 77 percent market penetration. However, Latin America has notably lagged in the adoption of this technology. Similarly, certain European Union countries and the East Asia region demonstrate substantial rates of smart electricity meter market penetration.

The report emphasises the significance of understanding the growth potential in both global and regional smart meter markets. This insight aids Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), vendors, and providers across the smart meter value chain in identifying new deployment opportunities and investment projects.

Smart meters empower energy and water utility service providers to fortify their operations with resilience, thanks to the near real-time data they provide from distribution networks. Given the increasing emphasis on sustainability and utility digitalisation globally, the installed base of these devices is projected to surpass 1.75 billion by 2030, making the smart meter market one to closely monitor.

According to the report, smart electricity meter adoption outpaces that of smart gas and water meters. However, projections suggest a shift by 2030, with smart gas and water meter adoption expected to grow at Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) of 10 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

The Global Smart Meter Marker Tracker covers smart electricity, gas, and water meters across 52 countries and five regions, offering insights into installed base, shipments, revenue, market penetration, and connectivity technology. The report plans to delve deeper into each smart meter submarket separately, beginning with smart electricity meters.

As of late 2023, the smart electricity meter market achieved 43 percent penetration of the overall global electricity meter market, indicating substantial progress. Initiatives for electricity grid modernisation, which began in the late 2000s in Italy and the US, gained momentum with national rollouts across the EU and APAC regions post-2010. Regulatory policies, coupled with financial incentives from regional or national governments, have fueled this growth by encouraging utilities to transition from mechanical to smart meters, thereby modernising their grid infrastructure.

However, despite significant progress in certain regions, disparities exist globally. While North America, Europe, and East Asia lead in smart electricity meter adoption, Latin America, Africa, and South Asia have been slower to initiate projects in this regard. Challenges such as project implementation complexity, regulatory gaps, and cost barriers have contributed to delays in several countries.

Read also: Experts advocate advanced metering to boost power supply

Looking ahead, the outlook for smart electricity meters remains promising. The Smart Meter Market Tracker anticipates these IoT devices to capture 54 percent of the global electricity meter market by 2030.

Key considerations highlighted in the report include market saturation in advanced economies and the implementation of more advanced second-generation smart meters, which are underway in countries like Sweden, Italy, Finland, and Canada. Additionally, it emphasises the importance of cost sensitivity in emerging markets like Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, where low-cost smart meters are likely to gain traction.

Moreover, some countries, including Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Indonesia, are mandating localisation of smart meter manufacturing to a significant extent. However, policy indecisiveness in certain nations, such as Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa, poses challenges, creating uncertain environments for stakeholders and hindering innovation and investment in smart meter deployments.