Steep Growth in Smart Meter Installations Predicted for Europe 

A new report predicts that 100 million new smart meters will be installed across Europe between now and the end of 2016 as nations continent-wide aim to achieve greater energy efficiency and increased reliance on renewable sources of energy. According to GTM Research, European investment in smart grid improvements will reach €6.8 billion annually, with much of that money targeting advanced meter infrastructure, energy distribution automation, and electric vehicle technology. Among those sectors, the report says, smart meters, which allow consumers to track their energy use in real time and relay that information to utilities, are currently the most developed technology. According to the report, many European utilities hope to use smart meter technology to improve their relationships with customers. Meanwhile, U.S.-based Pike Research reports that 19.2 million smart meters were shipped worldwide during the third quarter of 2011, a 5.3 percent increase over the previous quarter; growth was particularly strong in North America and China, according to the Pike report.

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