London, July 21, 2011 — Many European states are investing in smart metering in the drive to meet E.U.'s energy targets to be achieved by 2020. The third energy directive is driving member states for 80 percent smart meter penetration by that date.
However, according to Frost & Sullivan, region-wise disparity exists due to the different regulatory challenges faced by each country, thus having a direct impact on implementation.
But what's the current situation in Europe? Frost & Sullivan forecasts 26 percent growth in Europe with the U.K. holding the highest growth potential amongst all the European countries.
The British government has in fact announced plans to install 53 million electricity and gas smart meters in homes and businesses by 2019, while the French energy regulator CRE (Commission de régulation de l'énergie) has set out guidelines with an objective for mandatory implementation requiring all electricity consumers to have smart meters by 2016. On the other hand, no mandatory roll out has been planned in Germany.
Furthermore, Sweden attained 100 percent smart meter penetration in 2010 while Italy's deployment is almost complete with 33.5 million smart meters installed till 2010. The three hotspots in Europe will certainly be France, U.K. and Spain that are expected to witness high level of growth in smart meter installations in the next 2-3 years.