The worldwide surge in smart meter deployments fueled in part by the economic stimulus package in the U.S. will reach a high of 131 million units in five years and then begin to decline, according to a new report from Navigant Research, which estimates that global shipments of the devices will drop to 114 million annually by 2022. The report found that despite the slowdown, China will continue to be a strong driver of smart meter growth thanks largely to the government's aggressive push to upgrade the nation's energy infrastructure.

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