The approach of the end of a year is always a time for reflection and 2007 has proven to be an interesting and important year for the metering industry.
The first major trend of note was the remarkable surge in interest in smart metering – and not just in the US but across the globe from Europe to Australasia. As analyst Karen Blackmore writes in these pages, as a result of initiatives that have surfaced during the past year in countries that one might not have put on the “top ten” list, “smart metering (is) truly a worldwide event.” (page ..) And in this magazine and at the events that Smart Energy International has hosted, the “buzz” and “energy” has been palpable, with more and more people wanting to keep abreast with developments and network with industry peers.
In part the driver for this growth is environmental – and the groundswell of momentum has been equally striking, perhaps because there are few people who have been untouched by environmental changes – but in some countries it is the hard fact of energy theft reduction. Either way though, the benefits of smart metering are not restricted to either one of these and indeed once deployed a whole suite of benefits are available.
The second major trend has been the equally rapid move to focus on areas beyond the smart meter, such as smart grids and home area networks. New vendors and services are continually appearing and so too are new projects – and again in regions and countries one might not expect such as Latin America and India. Recognising this trend Smart Energy International is excited to announce a new series of smart grid events in 2008, launching with focuses on Africa (July) and Latin America (November).
In the next quarter, Smart Energy International is proud to bring you another new event, the 1st World Meter Design Congress, which will provide insights into the new requirements and opportunities shaping the design and development of next generation metering systems. In addition we will be hosting the 3rd Smart Metering Canada in Toronto, Canada in February and the 2nd Metering Central America and Caribbean in Bogotá, Colombia in March, to provide strategic insights into developments and opportunities in these regions.
With this issue we say farewell to Errol Bryce, who as the publisher of Smart Energy International has led its development and growth over these past few years and who is leaving to take up the reigns of a family business. The new publisher is Sonja Rabé, who has international experience in the visual media. With her expertise we look forward to continued development of the Smart Energy International family of products, particularly in enhancing the online offering smart-energy.com as a seamless extension of this print magazine.
Finally we would like to thank all our writers, advertisers and readers for their contributions and support over the past year, and we look forward to another exciting year during 2008.
Jonathan Spencer Jones