A reseller for smart grid technology player Echelon announced a deal this week to deploy an advanced metering infrastructure system that will serve roughly 10,000 customers in Hassfurt, Germany. The contract, which will be rolled out over the next three years, is being handled by EVB Energie AG. The utility in question is Stadtwerk Hassfurt, which has been around since 1955.
One thing mentioned in the release that I didn't know: A proposed law in Germany would require all new or remodeled homes to include smart meters by 2010. Hmmm. Here in the United States, smart grid is being encouraged through investment incentives, but not strictly required. Yet.
If you look at Echelon's announcements around smart grid projects, you'll find that many of them are outside the U.S. market. Given the European Union's lead in many green tech initiatives, this isn't all that surprising. In fact, deployments of 80 million meters are predicted by 2013, not all that many years from now. Here's a little more insight on the prospects for smart meter deployments in Europe, as predicted late last month by Berg Insight.