Recently public smart grid player Silver Spring Networks has started working on a deal with Singapore utility Singapore Power to build a wireless smart grid network including smart meters. The deal is Silver Spring’s first in Asia and Silver Spring Executive Vice President, Global Development Eric Dresselhuys tells me he hopes it will be the “anchor customer in the region.”
Asian markets are growing at a fast pace and Silver Spring is trying to get a toe hold into the region. Dresselhuys says utilities in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos and even India, look to Singapore Power as a leader. The utility has 2 million customers, and the deal is actually with the company’s division that owns the electricity transmission and distribution, SP PowerAssets.
The pace of the growth of smart meters in the U.S. has been expected to slow down in 2013 and 2014, and then pick back up, according to Pike Research. That’s partly because the early adopter utilities in states like California have already adopted smart meters. The temporary drop is also because the Department of Energy stimulus funds gave smart meters a temporary pop a couple years ago. Networks in some states, like ComEd’s, have faced other types of logistics hurdles.
Outside of the U.S. there’s a lot of growth going on, and particularly in developing countries where economies are booming. Silver Spring has already built networks in Australia, but is looking hard at Latin America. According to Pike Research, while less than 4 percent of the world’s 1.5 billion electricity meters were smart in 2008, that figure grew to over 18 percent by 2012, and is expected to jump to 55 percent by 2020.