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Rebounding from a soft first quarter, worldwide smart meter shipments picked up steam in the second quarter of 2012. Global volumes in the quarter totaled 18 million units, up sequentially by nearly 19%, according to a new report from Pike Research.

Even in North America, where the pace of deployments has slowed in recent months, meter shipments grew in the second quarter from the first three months of the year, the study concludes.

“The second quarter shipment gains are encouraging, but in North America shipments will start to dwindle as major smart metering projects reach completion this year,” says senior research analyst Neil Strother. “The next phase of growth is shifting to projects in Western Europe and Latin America, where sizable deployments are expected in the next couple of years. And, of course, China continues to deploy at a rapid pace as it strives to fulfill its goal of some 300 million smart meters by mid-decade.”

China accounted for the vast majority of global shipments, with 73% of the market in the quarter, according to the report. Pike Research says Chinese planners have apparently decided to forge ahead with major deployments despite a slowing economy, as a robust electric grid remains a key component of the country’s plans for sustained growth.

Similarly, the European market demonstrated significant increases despite economic headwinds, as smart meter rollouts gained momentum in Spain and the U.K, the report notes.



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