More than a decade after the earliest models of communicating electric meters were deployed, the market for AMI (or smart meters) remains strong and growing. Since the release of Navigant Research’s Global AMI Tracker in 2Q 2016, the North American market has seen a handful of new project announcements (Entergy, National Grid, and Pacific Power) and some notable project updates (Ameren Illinois), while markets in Europe and Asia Pacific experience continued uptake. According to a new report from Navigant, China remains the leading global smart electric meter market through 3Q 2016, with more than 348 million smart meters installed, accounting for 67.1 percent of tracked global installations.

“The global smart meter market and its underlying technologies have evolved rapidly since the technology’s inception,” says Michael Kelly, research associate with Navigant Research. “Relatively developed markets include North America, Western Europe, and areas of Asia Pacific, all of which remain strong and growing with significant market opportunities remaining.”

In the coming decade, the second-generation smart meter market (replacements and upgrades) within these highly penetrated regions will begin to present significant revenue stream opportunities for product vendors and systems integrators, according to the report. Less saturated markets, including Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa, still face significant barriers to entry, but large volume project activity is forecasted across all of these areas.

The report, Global AMI Tracker 4Q16, provides an analysis of global utility smart meter projects. It tracks data related to global customer endpoints, meter manufacturers, AMI communications vendors, systems integrators, and meter data management (MDM) vendors. The report also includes an examination of the technologies, timeframes, and vendor selections for AMI deployments around the world, along with vendor selection share analysis for North America.