Zigbee to rule as smart meter revenues soar
The worldwide smart meter revenue will surpass US$12bn in 2016 with Zigbee the early technology leader, according to a report from In-Stat.
The report also showed that powerline was the clear leader in backhaul connectivity from the meter to the utility. However, it found an increasing number of wireless systems including cellular, white space and proprietary methods that would use unlicensed bands and operate in mesh configuration.
China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, is also the biggest smart meter consumer.
And it forecast that the number of smart meters deployed in the USA per year would decrease after peaking in 2011, but worldwide smart meter deployment would continue to grow.
“Zigbee has been considered the front-running short range connectivity option for smart grid since its inception, and has maintained its position so far,” said Allen Nogee, In-Stat’s research director. “While the number of Zigbee clients in homes to date is relatively small, In-Stat believes that Zigbee will maintain its dominance.
“Although Wifi is pervasive, it has not been a viable choice for the smart grid because the application layers have never existed for Wifi that explain exactly how Wifi devices interact. That will all change with the passage of the IP-based Smart Energy Profile 2.0, expected late in 2012.”
The report is called “Getting Smart on Worldwide Smart Meter Communication Technology”, and includes examples of current projects such as Pacific Gas & Electric, Salt River Project – Arizona, Baltimore Gas & Electric – Maryland, Austin Electric – Texas, Xcel Energy Boulder – Colorado, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District – California.
Smart meter and smart grid manufacturers profiled include Aclara, Echelon, Ember, Elster, GE, Hexing Electric, Holly Smart Meters, Itron, Landis & Gyr, Sensus and Smartsynch.