Middle East smart meters: Qatar to finish phase one in 2016

Middle East smart meters Doha, Qatar
Qatar’s national utility expects to complete its replacement of analogue meters with smart meters in Doha by 2016

Middle East smart meters rollouts continue as Qatar expects to complete the first phase of a deployment in 2016.

State-owned utility Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation, known as Kahramaa, will reportedly replace all analogue meters in the Doha area of its service territory by 2016.

The rollout forms part of a government-approved smart meter programme launched in January 2015.

Qatar has opted for a smart water and electricity meter system using GPRS as its communication method.

According to an industry study, the Middle East smart meters market is forecast to reach 16.1 million units by 2022 with 86% of homes and businesses in the region expected to have smart meters by the same year.

In June 2014, US company Northeast Group predicted that Middle East and North African (MENA) countries will spend US$9.8 billion on smart grid infrastructure by 2024, including smart meters, distribution automation and smart city technology.

Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group, explains: “MENA countries are taking a two-pronged approach to addressing their power sector challenges.

“The first is the installation of over 26 GW of solar capacity by 2024, led by Saudi Arabia, which will allow them to reduce their reliance on oil and gas power generation.

“The second approach is to deploy smart grid infrastructure that will help incorporate this solar power, enable better electricity demand management and improve reliability.”

Smart grid activity is picking up throughout the region supplied by vendors such as ABB, Alstom, Echelon, Elster, GE, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Petra Solar, SAP, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks and Suez.

Middle East smart meters – water

In May 2015, Itron began a project to upgrade water measurement technology in Jordan.

The energy management company began deploying its ultrasonic water metering technology in the city of Amman in Jordan on behalf of the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) in a bid to reduce non-revenue water losses.

The metering manufacturer said its static ultrasonic water meter is “designed and tailored for Middle Eastern conditions”.

Itron said in a statement: “With no moving parts, [the meter] allows for protection against unplanned maintenance costs and provides highly accurate measurement over the entire product life.”

Itron France will manufacture and install 123,000 smart residential ultrasonic water meters by the end of July 2016.

Saudi Arabia GPRS smart meters

While in March 2015, the largest power utility in the Middle East, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), awarded CG, part of Indian business conglomerate the Avantha Group Company, a €3.4m contract to supply the utility with ZIV three phase smart meters.

The Mumbai-based company is adapting ZIV smart meters to the functionalities requested by SEC and will collaborate with the utility to provide the optimal systems for smart grid deployment in Saudi Arabia.

The smart meters will be connected to current transformers within the grid and communicate via GPRS.