2007 is set to go down as an important year for energy markets across the globe. In the US smart metering has established itself in the utility sector, with tens of millions of meters in planning and prospect, and with it the clear mainstreaming of the need for demand response and other sustainability initiatives to address climate change.
In Europe member states should have opened their electricity and gas markets to competition effective July, and they should also be well on their way to meeting the May 2008 target to implement new energy end-use efficiency measures, including smart metering.
In Africa prepayment has become entrenched as the technology of choice, with projects of varying sizes across the continent. And in Asia AMR is becoming more widespread.
The different technologies reflect the differing priorities and demands across the globe. But make no mistake, it’s not just in the US that the projects are large – for example in European countries projects will run into the millions, in Africa Nigeria’s prepayment project is based on more than 2 million meters over the next two years and Morocco’s on 1.5 million meters, and in India more than 100 million meters are slated for installation over the next few years.
This is good news for all of us involved in the industry, whether as a utility, consultant, service provider or vendor, or in our case as industry analyst and information provider. In line with the growing electronic business environment much of our recent effort has been focussed on the website smart-energy.com, which was relaunched a year ago, and we have been very gratified with the response from users. Updated daily with news and information from across the globe, the site offers new opportunities for knowledge gathering, networking and business development for the metering world, alongside the print magazine and associated events.
In the next quarter, in addition to the regular participation in the Metering, Billing/CRM Europe and Australia and New Zealand events, Smart Energy International is proud to bring you two new events. Metering, Billing/CRM India (October) will focus on the rapidly growing Indian market, which is also currently undergoing major development and reform, and Smart Metering East Coast (November) will explore the latest developments in what has been one of the pioneer regions for smart metering and demand response in the US and globally.
As always we invite you to contact us with your comments and suggestions for Smart Energy International.
Jonathan Spencer Jones