Strong first quarter growth in global smart meter shipments
13 June 2012
Posted by Michelle Devonshire
Global shipments of smart meters jumped by 28.8 per cent during the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period of last year.
This is according to IDC Energy Insights, which has declared almost seven million meters were shipped over the three month period.
In its Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker, the firm forecast an annual jump of 111.3 per cent in shipments between 2011 and the end of 2012.
;Smart meters are becoming less expensive and vendors and local utilities are increasingly developing solutions appropriate for the needs and smart grid aspirations of the local market,” stated Dean Chuang, IDC Senior Research Analyst.
The analyst has outlined the obstacles to the universal roll out of smart meters, such as outdated infrastructure and poorly functioning electricity markets, noting the gadgets have transformed the energy industry in recent years despite these constraints.
However, the data protection risk posed by smart metering was highlighted recently by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), which has cautioned member states to prepare for the roll out of the technology.
According to the EDPS, Giovanni Buttarelli, he adopted his opinion on the Commission Recommendation on preparations for the roll out of smart metering systems, which will see high volumes of customer data collected about households’ habits.
Information that will be collected by the devices includes whether medical devices are used, when inhabitants are at home or absent, whether baby monitors are employed or how leisure time is spent.
As a result, Mr Buttarelli stated: "The EDPS calls on the Commission to assess whether further legislative action is necessary at EU level to ensure adequate protection of personal data for the roll-out of smart metering systems."
He has welcomed the efforts made by Commissioners to provide member states with guidance, but has stressed the need for "more comprehensive and practical guidance" for national governments.