Smart meters, while still arguably a nascent phenomenon in the utility market, has some global legs in it, argues a new In-Stat report.
Initially cited as a way to record and read a consumer's electrical, gas or water usage, the smart meter has a number of other functions that In-Stat forecasts the market will surpass the $12 billion market by 2016 with Zigbee-enabled devices taking the lead.
"While the number of ZigBee clients in homes to date is relatively small, In-Stat believes that ZigBee will maintain its dominance," said Allen Nogee, Research Director, InStat.
Nogee added that even though"WiFi is pervasive, it has not been a viable choice for the smart grid because the application layers have never existed for WiFi that explain exactly how WiFi devices interact," but "the passage of the IP-based Smart Energy Profile 2.0, expected late in 2012," could open up new opportunities for WiFi-enabled smart meters.
And while powerline-based technology continues to be the technology of choice to provide backhaul connectivity from the meter to the utility's grid, wireless-based wide area cellular and unlicensed wireless mesh technologies will continue play a bigger role in the overall smart grid trend.
On a regional basis, China, which is the world's largest energy consumer, is leading the majority of smart meter deployments. Alternatively, the U.S. market deployment of smart meters will decrease after reaching a peak in 2011, while worldwide smart meter deployments will continue to grow.
- see the release
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