In a world where technology is at its peak of changing almost everything, we can’t help but turn to ‘smart’. Smart phones are now toping list in most sold commodities with most electronic companies aiming to turn smart their products or say, make them adoptable to already smart gadgets.

In Kenya, the country adopted the smart metering process for electricity and a campaign is still on to apply the same to most parts of the country. The meters allow you to top-up whatever amount of electricity you want at whatever time.What about smart meters?

Smart electric meters have emerged as the most visible technology of the major modernization of the global electricity infrastructure known as the smart grid. Smart meters and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), terms often used synonymously, integrate embedded computing and two-way communications to transform meters from simple manual recording instruments into highly intelligent devices serving increasingly broad roles within the electricity infrastructure.

Smart meters have transformed a placid, 140-year old, low-innovation electricity metering market into a high-tech, high-growth juggernaut. In 2008, less than 4% of the global installed base of 1.5 billion electricity meters could be considered “smart” but 4 years later this penetration will have grown to over 18%, and is forecast to exceed 55% by 2020.

Such ongoing growth continues to offer unprecedented opportunities for a broad spectrum of suppliers. However, the smart meter market is exceptionally local, with different drivers, regulatory environments, favored technologies, standards, value and supply chains, and especially, market timing. Most importantly, the smart meter boom is a limited-time opportunity within each region.

The global smart meter market is forecast to experience a modest 4.9% CAGR between 2010 and 2020, but hidden beneath seemingly steady growth are significant regional peaks and valleys, each with their own opportunities and risks. Suppliers seeking to profit from the unique smart meter upgrade cycle must understand the associated technology, standards, and market dynamics behind this regional diversity.(Pike Research)

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Kenya Engineer is the definitive publication of Engineers in East Africa & beyond and the official journal of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya. Kenya Engineer has been in publication since 1972.

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