China is on track to install 280 smart meters by 2016, driving the worldwide rollout of smart metering while deployment in the US wanes, finds new research from the market analysis firm In-Stat.

Smart meter deployment in the US is set to fade after peaking in 2011 due to stimulus cash for utilities that update their metering, said In-Stat. Yet global expansion will rise, driven by the need to upgrade the smart grid as infrastructure ages and power demand rises while construction of new power plants becomes more difficult.

Smart meters will be key to the implementation of smart grids, said Allen Nogee, In-Stat research director.

“The smart meter is at the heart of the smart grid transformation, and even though infrastructure and customer education are also important, in these early days, it’s all about the smart meter,” he said.

“With the large numbers of smart meter deployments forecasted, it naturally follows that many technology solutions will evolve, and that is exactly what is taking place.”

Powerline is the clear leader in connecting meters back to utilities but an increasing number of wireless solutions are being adopted, including cellular, whitespace and proprietary methods that use unlicensed spectrum and operate in a mesh configuration, found In-Stat.

For more metering news click here