Spurred by government purchasing, China’s smart meter industry is expected to experience nearly 8 percent growth this year, according to an upcoming IHS iSuppli China Research report from information and analytics provider IHS.
Overall production of electricity meters in China, including those shipped to the State Grid Corp. of China (SGCC) and China Southern Power Grid (CSG), will reach 110.6 million units in 2012, up from 102.8 million units in 2011. Electricity meters in China are forecast to continue growing through 2016, reaching 144.8 million units.
The total number of electricity meters that SGCC will purchase in 2012 is anticipated to amount to 79 million units, a 15.8 percent increase from 2011, and a new record high.
The Chinese government is issuing a series of official documents regarding smart meter quality management and control. These are expected to have an immense impact on the whole supply chain of meter manufacturing, including the semiconductor market.
Shipments of smart meters have grown significantly compared to expectations at the beginning of this year, when the SGCC set bidding targets. The rise is mainly due to the government starting massive investments in infrastructure construction from April this year, as well as to the nationwide full implementation of a multitariff electricity policy in July.
IHS forecasts that the bidding on smart meters will maintain its growth momentum, and the rate of installations will accelerate during the next three years.
Just as IHS predicted at the beginning of 2012, competition in the smart meter IC market has intensified. This has resulted in the market changing structure, as well as a reshuffling of the competitive position of major suppliers. The strong meter-bidding activity in the first half year encouraged the rapid growth of certain semiconductor vendors, including Fudan Micro in the microcontroller field, IDT in the metering integrated circuit segment and Topscomm in the power line communication module market.
System-on-chip (SoC) devices can reduce smart meter cost and design complexity. The government is promoting the long-term development of SoCs, with the SGCC placing the development of the chips on its agenda.
Read More >> China Electronics Supply Chain