A new report from market analyst Berg Insight predicts that smart meter penetration in Europe will reach an impressive 52 per cent by 2016.

According to Berg, the installed base of smart electricity meters in Europe will grow annually at around 19.4 per cent between 2010 and 2016, to reach 130.5 million by the end of the period.

Berg also forecasts that annual investments in smart metering technology will exceed EUR3bn ($4.3bn) by 2015.

This is significantly up from the analyst’s previous prediction last year when it said that the installed base of electricity meters would grow annually by 17.9 per cent between 2009 and 2015 to reach a total of 111.4 million by 2015.

The report found that rising energy costs and national rollouts are the driving forces behind the increased uptake of smart meters.

John Granger, general manager for IBM’s Global Business Systems in North-East Europe, said: “Everything is in place for smart power grids that could stave off a looming energy crisis.”

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