Utilities around the world are upgrading to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to access granular energy usage data and two-way communications in order to implement more complex network analytics.
Cumulative global AMI installations are expected to reach 922 million by 2021. Current contracts will drive a steady increase in installments through 2020, but will require new contracts to avoid a decline in 2021.FIGURE 1: AMI Meters Installed, 2017E-2021ESource: GTM Research, AMI Global Forecast 2017-2021
Europe will be a driving force in the global market, even as installs decline in 2021. A European Commission mandate is the primary force behind the world's second-largest AMI market; the mandate targets 80 percent AMI penetration among EU countries by 2020.
The EU (along with Great Britain) is expected to make strong progress in the coming years, but will still be 37.6 million meters short in 2020 as investment in metering networks and hardware plummet.
Altogether, 15 countries have either announced delays or have not yet contracted the volume of meters required to meet their 2020 goal. Despite this shortcoming, GTM Research estimates that 175 million AMI meters will be installed in Europe by 2021. Under the current pipeline, European utilities will spend $18.7 billion to deploy AMI meters and networks, equal to 39 percent of global spend, from 2017 to 2021.
The Spanish, French and Italian markets are projected to install over 56 percent of these meters by 2021. Spain is expected to finish its rollout in 2018 when utilities Iberdrola, Endesa and Unión Fenosa Distribución complete deployments, totaling 27.3 million meters. France also remains on track to replace 95 percent of the country’s meters with AMI. French utility Enedis kicked off the second phase of its Linky smart meter deployment program last year.
A wave of investment in analytics solutions to capitalize on new AMI data will follow these deployments. From these solutions, utilities can leverage the data to improve DER integration, customer engagement, distribution O&M and a range of other analytics.