AMI adoption predicted to slow in North America


Harry Forbes,
ARC Advisory Group
Dedham, MA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 10, 2009 – The North American market for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) has hit some bumps in the road, in spite of the best efforts of utilities, suppliers, government, and regulators, and will show only limited growth over the next year.

In a new report manufacturing and supply chain solutions analyst ARC Advisory Group predicts that the North American market for AMI and smart grid will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of over 20 percent during the next five years, but 2009 and 2010 will see only a limited portion of that growth. The market was $1,839 million in 2008 and is expected to grow to over $4,684 million in 2013, according to the study.  

The ARC study cites several factors still inhibiting rapid growth of the AMI and smart grid market. Among these are immature standards for meter communications and Home Area Networks (HANs), fragmented regulatory authority, and the long project sales and implementation schedules of electric utilities.

“AMI is a foundational piece of the future smart grid,” says ARC’s Harry Forbes,  an author of the report. “Yet the existing standards for meter communication are very immature compared with internet technologies, as indicated by the lack of multi-vendor device interoperability. Also it has been a challenge to scale some of these new HAN technologies to installations of only 1,000-2,000 endpoints, let alone several million. Utilities are reticent to vastly scale up their AMI installations at huge expense given the present level of technology risk and the rate of technology development.”