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Emerging markets poised to achieve smart metering despite COVID-19

When the ongoing COVID-19 crisis fades into the past and the global economy recovers, the long-term view for smart meter deployment and emerging market growth is strong, writes Stephen Chakerian.

North America, Western Europe, and East Asia are largely concluding most of their first-time smart meter rollouts over the next few years and attention has shifted to emerging markets. The leading emerging market countries are forecast to deploy 148 million smart meters (excluding the Chinese market which will deploy more than 300 million more), representing billions of dollars in investment over the next five years. Of course, the global pandemic is far from settled, and emerging market countries are now experiencing the greatest challenges in vaccine access and distribution. But as the ongoing crisis fades into the past and the global economy rebounds, the long view for emerging market growth is strong.

“Emerging markets” is a catch-all term for many countries, each exhibiting unique characteristics, drivers, and challenges in terms of getting smart metering projects off the ground. Given this diversity, the best way to understand the emerging market landscape is to consider the respective regions and countries individually. The following will focus on the analysis of the Chinese market.

China’s metering market – the world’s largest – remains largely closed off to non-Chinese meter manufacturers. Now undertaking its second national rollout, Chinese vendors will continue to dominate this market, led by Clou, Hexing, Inhemeter, Holley Metering, Kaifa, Linyang, Sanxing, Star Instruments, Wasion, ZTE, and others. Most of these vendors will also continue their efforts to branch out into international markets. Across a diversity of emerging market countries with unique circumstances and histories, one commonality is a steadily improving environment for smart metering development. At the moment, it can be hard to look past the global pandemic, but even from a conservative viewpoint, prospects for sustained investment have never been stronger. Drawing on technological advances and lessons learned over the past two decades, AMI deployments are set for robust growth in all emerging market regions throughout the 2020s. 

Post time: May-25-2021