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Market News

 August 26, 2011
Europe ready to open tap on smart water meter market

 New report predicts market for smart water meters and related services to clear $13bn by 2020

The European market for smart water meters capable of providing real-time updates on water use across entire networks is set to enjoy "strong double-digit growth" over the next 10 to 15 years as utilities move to roll out the technology in pursuit of efficiency savings.

That is the conclusion of a major new report from research firm Frost & Sullivan, which predicts the market will be worth up to £13.2bn by 2020, despite the fact that governments are unlikely to impose mandatory targets for the use of smart water meters similar to those imposed for the rollout of smart energy meters.

Speaking to BusinessGreen, report author Seth Cutler predicted that water meter providers will see soaring demand for both smart meters and the data services required to collate and analyse the information provided by the new meters. "Much of the revenue will come from related services, particularly once the rollout of smart meters reaches a critical mass and you have a lot of data to draw on," he said.

He added that the market is "very confident" it is on the cusp of a period of rapid growth, as utilities are under growing pressure to enhance efficiency in the face of rising energy costs and concerns over carbon emissions and climate change, while successful pilot schemes have demonstrated that smart water meters can deliver significant efficiency improvements.

"There will be different push and pull factors in different regions," he said. "But all utilities are realising there are a lot of savings to be made through grid and network efficiencies."

The report predicts that the UK, France and Germany will emerge as the main European markets for smart meters, accounting for more than 27 per cent of the total market by 2020.

It also highlights that Italy, Greece and Malta have emerged as the only European countries to pursue full smart water metering rollouts, with Malta likely to emerge as a useful case study for utilities across the continent.

By James Murray