Smart grids and metering

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San Francisco
  • Smart grid business models will increasingly focus on providing an integrated solution, from generation and distribution through to the consumer interface.
  • Sophisticated software applications will address bottlenecks in the distribution system.
  • Interoperability standards for smart grid applications will be an enabler of strategic partnerships between start-ups, established technology companies and utilities.
  • Providing customers with a price signal that allows them to see the financial benefit of smart grid technology is critical for widespread adoption.
  • Smart grid companies will invest more in educating consumers and businesses on the benefits of demand response so they will adjust their energy consumption when the technology is commercially available.
  • More states will adopt “decoupling” pricing schemes for utilities to reward them for lowering energy consumption

 

Munich
  • Utilities are not incentivized to take risks on installing new grid/meter technology. 
  • In Europe, they are paid to produce more power, so the incentive to install power-reducing technologies is simply missing. 
  • Smart grids don’t exist in Europe, but smart meters have started to emerge as a real option.  Problem is, nobody has defined how “smart” a smart meter needs to be. 
  • Customer privacy/data security issues have to be resolved.  Most experiments with smart grid/smart meter technology have tripped up on customer privacy issues. 
  • The greatest opportunities in smart grid are in immature markets, where grids are not fully built out or coordinated. 
  • The customer has to see the value in pricing. Smart metering only works if the customer can control the technology, and benefit from reducing demand during peak periods.
  • Utilities have long operated as a highly regulated industry incentivized to build a margin of safety to maintain high reliability. Someone will have to help utilities make the adjustment to a new model of creating