The global analyst firm Frost & Sullivan presented Echelon (NASDAQ: ELON), with its 2011 Frost & Sullivan European Market Share Leadership Award in the Smart Meters Market, calling the firm "a clear leader in the European smart meter market," Echelon announced today. Echelon's open-standard smart grid communications and control technology was among the first in Europe, and solutions based on it now hold an 81 percent share of the smart electricity meter installed base there, according to Frost & Sullivan. About 35 million Echelon-powered meters have been installed to date on the continent.
Echelon holds market shares of 95 percent in Italy, 60 percent in Denmark, and 40 percent in Sweden. The company has been awarded the largest deployment undertaken in Norway to date: 100,000 smart meters.
Additional projects in Austria, Finland and Russia bring the firm's cumulative share to 81 percent.
"The Echelon Networked Energy Services (NES) system is the control networking infrastructure for the smart grid, which enables intelligent distributed control applications and devices that deliver maximum reliability, survivability and responsiveness," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Neha Vikash. "More than 100 diverse projects and deployments have proven that the NES system for smart metering is a flexible and safe choice for forward-looking utilities."
The NES system helps utilities reduce operating costs, provide expanded services and choice to their customers, ultimately enabling energy users to manage and reduce their overall consumption. It offers a highly flexible infrastructure that can be adapted to changing customer, operations, and regulatory needs.
This year, Echelon's momentum in Europe continues apace. Fortum Norway last month awarded a smart grid project to Echelon partner Telvent to deploy Echelon's smart metering system to Fortum Norway's 100,000 electricity customers. When PermEnergo chose Echelon's NES system as one of five solutions in a 50,000-home smart metering pilot project this year, Echelon surpassed 300,000 smart meters in Russia. NRGi, the fourth largest utility in Denmark, also contributed to growing Echelon's market share in Europe this year when it selected the NES system for nearly 150,000 homes and businesses.
Grid intelligence provided by the NES system includes power line management intelligence wherein utilities can better monitor outages, reduce service restoration time, and verify that service has been restored. By measuring and detecting events related to voltage surges and sags, over-current conditions, phase changes, long and short outages and total harmonic distortion, the system also provides information related to power quality. Overall, the analyst firm said Echelon's NES system is the most proven, reliable and scalable form of any smart grid solution available today. Compared with its competitors, Echelon is "the most diversified company in terms of the products and solutions it offers," Frost & Sullivan said.
"This has been a great year for the smart grid," Echelon CEO Ron Sege said. "Utilities in Europe are taking action to build a 21st century smart grid now – and they are betting on Echelon-powered solutions because they represent the safe and flexible choice in an uncertain regulatory environment. Our flexible approach to the market, where customers can buy complete Echelon solutions, or solutions from our partners powered by Echelon technology, gives our customers the most diverse set of offerings in the industry."
Echelon's NES system uses the Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP) as a basic standard. OSGP has become a de facto standard for smart meters and smart grid infrastructure communications with more than three million meters already installed.
"More than just a protocol for smart meters, OSGP provides secure, scalable control networking services for any device connected to the low voltage power grid," said Vikash. "It also provides critical information related to the distribution line, which further improves reliability and lowers operating costs." Through its efforts to standardise the OSGP as an international standard, Echelon has armed electric utilities with the ability to buy "best-of-breed products" and to avoid vendor lock-in that increases costs and reduces innovation, Frost & Sullivan added.
Report: Echelon based technology behind 81 percent of Smart Meters in Europe