Tomorrow's Smart Metering Summit is expected to contain new announcements from the Department of Energy and Climate Change about which companies are expected to benefit from its rollout programme.

The shortlist of bidders for the government's multi-billion pound smart meter programme to put smart meters in every home and business in the UK will be announced at the Smart Metering Summit, taking place at the Lancaster Hotel tomorrow and Friday.

The government’s Smart Metering Implementation Programme (SMIP) is the UK’s biggest energy infrastructure project since North Sea gas and Europe’s largest IT communications project, worth £2.5bn.

DECC's Baroness Verma and other officials will update the UK vision, followed by Philippa Pickford, Ofgem's head of smart metering, and Paul Eggleton from Telefonica Digital, who will outline just what is needed to ensure that the programme is a success in the short and long term.

The summit covers smart meters, their installation, communication systems and network, meter data management (MDM) and customer and programme data management.

Smart grids and super grids are prerequisites to integrating large-scale renewable energy in the future energy system. The success of the transition towards a sustainable energy system depends to a large extend on how the existing and new energy systems fit together.

Generating power from renewable sources differs substantially from power generation from conventional sources. Dominant forms of renewables such as wind and solar power are intermittent, so the need for more sophisticated power infrastructure and control systems is apparent.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan European Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Market, suggests that the AMI revenue in Europe is expected to grow from $1.13bn in 2011 to $3.72bn in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.9%.

Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Supplies research analyst, Neha Vikash, said: "The market is expected to witness higher growth not only in smart meters and the installation segments, but also in communications networks, MDM, customer and programme data management segments as well.”

Most companies operating in the field are not just the hardware (meter) providers, but combine them with important services and appropriate functionalities in communication infrastructure and data management.

Many are investing millions into their R&D. Business and technical consultancy DNV KEMA is putting EUR 70m into expansion of its High-Power Laboratory to create the first laboratory in the world in the extreme testing segment for the upcoming market for super grids, and is to open a new Strategic Research Unit at its global headquarters in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

This will focus exclusively on the further development of smart grids and super grids.

Story: David Thorpe, News Editor