A new research study from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight forecasts that 572.3 million smart electricity meters will be deployed in China, India, Japan and South Korea during 2021–2025.
At the end of 2019, overall smart meter penetration stood at 69 percent in these markets, corresponding to an installed base of 653.3 million units. While China has already completed first-wave rollouts, Japan and South Korea will be the next markets to reach nationwide coverage with likely completion in the next 3–4 years. India had on the other hand only reached a penetration of around 1 percent at the end of 2020 but is expected to be the main driver behind overall smart meter penetration growth in Asia-Pacific in the coming years.
The Chinese market is expected to account for as much as 70–80 percent of smart electricity meter demand across Asia in the next few years with refreshment rounds replacing early smart meter installations now beginning at a larger scale in the country. This demand continues to be fulfilled entirely by domestic manufacturers of which many have now grown to match the largest global smart metering players in terms of output and revenues.
“More advanced meter requirements along with growing demand for new use cases in the domestic market are now also strengthening the competitiveness of Chinese vendors in the global smart metering market”, said Levi Ostling, smart metering analyst, Berg Insight.
These vendors are now making strong inroads into fast-growing smart metering markets such as Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
At the same time, the Indian smart metering market has in recent time faced difficulties in ramping up its smart metering deployments.
Mr. Ostling said:
“Ambitious targets to roll out some 250 million smart meters within just a few years’ time has so far failed to materialize, with the installed base of such devices merely doubling over the past two years to reach a modest 3 million units at the end of 2020.”
The country has however been severely affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and heavy lockdowns meant that smart meter deployments were at a complete standstill during the greater part of 2020. Hopefully, things will change for the better in 2021. During the second half of 2020, tender activity actually started to pick up pace and a new funding scheme tentatively called SAMARTH and worth up to INR 4 trillion is currently under consideration by the government.
Overall, Berg Insight forecasts that the Indian market will experience a compound annual growth rate of 76.2 percent during the forecast period and account for as much as 15–20 percent of smart meter shipments in Asia in 2025.