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$25 Billion European Smart Grid Market by 2020

So says a new report detailing EU members' smart meter rollout

1 min read

A British consultancy predicts that between 133 and 145 million smart meters will be installed in European Union countries by the end of this decade, in keeping with the EU's aim to have 80 of households equipped with such meters by 2020. The market will be biggest in countries that have been relatively slow to implement smart metering, notably Germany, the UK and Poland, says Greenbang LTD in Europe's Smart Meter Outlook for 2020--a report that it's selling to interested customers for a cool 1800 pounds.

According to a precis of the report that appeared this month in Britain's Financial Times, the European country that got off to the fastest start on a large scale was Italy, which often surprises with its tech-savviness. With the assistance of California-based Echelon, 27 million smart meters were installed in Italy between 2000 and 2005. A program of similar scope is now underway in Spain, also involving Echelon.

On the face of it, Italy would appear to be the place to look, if you're trying to assess the near-term impact of smart metering on energy demand, conservation, and greenhouse gas emissions. Texas too: The report credits its smart metering with having helped avert problems in 2008, when lower than expected windiness idled its turbines.

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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