Smart Grid Observer

Smart Grid Observer

248.4m Smart Meters Across 50 Emerging Market Countries by 2022


Source: Smart Grid Observer

New study highlights smart grid infrastructure growth in developing countries
January 30, 2018 --

Over the next five years, 50 emerging market countries will deploy 248.4 million smart electricity meters known as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). This AMI investment will total $34.7 billion over the period 2018-2022. A further $32.8 billion will be invested in additional smart grid infrastructure over the same period, including distribution automation and battery storage, among other segments. Of the 50 countries, 33 have already begun large-scale AMI projects or have imminent plans, according to the 7th edition of the Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2018 study published by Northeast Group, LLC.


Regulatory momentum is driving the growth of smart grid infrastructure investment across emerging markets. A precedent was set years ago by the European Union with its 80% smart metering target and now developing country regulators have followed suit, implementing their own AMI targets. The study found regulatory targets in Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia. At the end of 2017, there were 44.4 million smart meters installed across the 50 countries. With regulatory targets and other drivers, this number will grow by 248.4 million over the next five years. Recent tender activity has been seen in countries as diverse as Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and several countries across Southeast Asia and Latin America.  


In Latin America, there is a mix of imminent tenders and longer term plans. Mexico is currently deploying hundreds of thousands of AMI meters as part of tenders awarded in 2016. Meanwhile, utilities in Colombia and Chile have announced AMI investment plans for 2018. Brazil is a bit of a mixed bag; deployments are continuing in Light’s 1.4 million endpoint project, while other private utilities are preparing AMI plans but are unlikely to begin larger deployments until 2020.


One finding from the study is that the AMI market is increasingly coming under pricing pressure. Chinese and Indian vendors have branched out into other emerging market regions, exerting downward pressure on the price per endpoint. The study includes an analysis of this pricing pressure and other key themes for 2018 and beyond.

Northeast Group’s Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2018, Volume VII study is 115 pages long and comes with a dataset in Excel. Previous editions of the study had looked out over a one decade timeframe, but with current activity picking up, it has been restructured to look specifically at near-term opportunities across the 50 countries. For more information and to order the study, visit:

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