This is according to a report released last week by global market infrastructure intelligence research company, North East Group.
The report titled ‘Sub-Saharan Africa Electricity Metering: Market Forecast 2016-2026’ discusses the region’s current metering landscape, factors restraining the market as well as a forecast of the market.
Ben Gardner, president of NorthEast group commented: “Nearly one-third of the power produced in Africa is never properly billed to customers. This means utilities do not generate sufficient revenue to maintain their networks and fund necessary expansion.”
And as such: “Utilities in Sub-Saharan Africa must urgently upgrade their poor metering infrastructure.”
The report highlighted that despite Africa being the world’s fastest growing metering market and a leader in prepaid metering, the continent’s prepaid metering market penetration is just above 40%.
However, at a later stage, utilities mainly in selected countries including South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana will begin to increase the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure.
The commercial and industrial (C&I) metering market segment is also predicted to experience a significant increase over the next decade.
The report also discusses smart metering vendors including El Sewedy Electrometer, Conlog (partly owned by Schneider Electric) and a number of leading global vendors such as ZTE, Wasion, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Elster, Kamstrup and Siemens.
Automated electricity metering in Africa
The release of the report follows China-based ICT company, Huawei’s unveiling of a new AMI solution during the West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) held in Q4 2015 in Nigeria.
Huawei said the solution aims to improve utility grid operations.
Nigeria’s Daily Trust reported the new AMI solution powers Hi-Power Line Carrier (PLC) communication and Internet of Things (IoT) gateways to allow integration of multiple terminal connections.
Commenting on the development, Jerry Ji, President of Energy Industry, Enterprise Business Group, said: “In line with its Business-Driven ICT Infrastructure guiding principle, Huawei is committed to building a smart grid value chain by focusing on ICT infrastructure and implementing its ‘Win-Win Cooperation’ strategy.”