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EU goes smart on energy

Updated: Aug 20

EU is pursuing ambitious goals for making European consumers install smart meters in their homes. A study published in April 2020 forecasted that 225 million smart meters for electricity and 51 million for gas would be installed by 2024, at a cost of BEUR 47. – Smart meters are essential components for establishing smart grids, generating data necessary for both consumers and infrastructure to optimize consumption, says chairman of the board

of Ewave Holding, Jarle Lysberg. – You can have a smart home without, but if you want to have a smart grid, it is hard to get around implementing smart meters. Smart gas meters will contribute much in the same way regarding optimal usage of pipelines and related infrastructure. – Even though EU is aiming at being carbon free in the not to distant future, optimal use of natural gas is an essential part of reducing the CO2-emissions, reaching this target, says Steinar Fretheim, advisor to Ewave Holding.

EU is also taking privacy very seriously when pursuing the vision of a smart grid. – The immense amounts of data generated are definitely to be considered sensitive and subject to the GDPR directive. – Solutions offered to the public to aid keeping energy cost under control, adapting to variable energy prices and peak power pricing, definitely have to be designed with this in mind, says Jarle Lysberg. – Customers who do not install smart home solutions to take control with the consumption, are at the risk of facing massive energy bills in the future, says Steinar Fretheim. Still, the alternative is investing in massive upgrades of the electrical grid as well as gas distribution, cost that ultimately will land with the consumers anyway.

Domestic production of solar and wind will also require establishing smart grid solutions to ensure the right incentives. The Germans are already testing out a variety of elements in a future smart grid. – The project MoMa (Modellstadt Mannheim) is really interesting with regard to possible sollutions for the future, says Jarle Lysberg. – A centralized control of the distribution will simply be too complex. Interestingly, Internet will not only be important in the smart grid solution of the future, the grid itself will probably acquire many of the properties of Internet with regard to its decentralised structure.

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