U.S. and European smart meters control power demand acceleration

All countries in Europe and the United States are experimenting with the use of IT technology to suppress the peak of electricity consumption, and are rapidly advancing the application of smart meters.

In Europe, almost all households in Italy and Sweden have installed smart meters. The United Kingdom, Spain, and France are studying the implementation of all home installations from 2018 to 2020; the United States is rapidly spreading through government subsidies, and the number of installations in 2010 has exceeded 15 million. In 2013, it plans to install 52 million units, replacing one-third of the nation’s national electricity meters with smart meters.

United States

In mid-2010, 15 million units were installed. In 2013, 52 million units (equivalent to one-third of the nation's national electricity meters) are planned to be installed, and the penetration rate in 2015 will reach 50%.

Europe

Almost all households in Italy and Sweden have installed smart meters. The United Kingdom, Spain, and France are studying the implementation of all home installations from 2018 to 2020. The EU requires franchisees to install at least 80% of the total in accordance with the EU Directive (the 3rd EU power liberalization directive) by 2020.

Japan

Various power companies have already begun experiments. The largest number of installations is Kansai Electric Power. As of the end of November 2010, 610,000 households have been installed. According to Japan's new energy basic plan, it is planned to install smart meters for all applicants after 2020.

The purpose of the initial installation of smart meters is to increase the efficiency of meter reading services such as remote meter reading and remote switching. In Italy, there is also the intention to prevent theft of electricity, the power company is actively installed. With the smart meter, the power demand of each household can be grasped in detail, so that only the necessary number of power generation and distribution equipment can be started as required. For this reason, although smart meters require many installation costs, they can control investment in power generation and distribution equipment.

In addition to this advantage, there has been increasing interest in smart meters in recent years that have the effect of controlling peak power consumption during peak demand periods. The utility company sends the power-related information (consumption and unit price, etc.) to the user through the smart meter, thereby reducing the power consumption according to the demand response.

The most active smart meter application is the United States. Since the United States liberalized electricity in 1992, more than 3,000 power operators have continued to compete fiercely in the electricity market. They excessively reduced costs, and investment in distribution network equipment was slow, resulting in frequent blackouts in the United States. If there is less peak demand, the amount of investment in aging equipment can be controlled to a certain extent. One of its solutions is to consider the use of smart meters to control power demand through demand response.

The United States first conducted experiments in Texas and California

Power providers in Texas and California include a communication module that sends data to a home-based information terminal (home display) in a smart meter, which is used as a "home gateway" to perform demand response experiments.

In addition to the home monitor, the home-use air conditioner has a thermostat that can automatically adjust the temperature. Home displays can also represent electricity bills for different periods of time, urging consumers to cut off the equipment power supply to achieve savings at higher costs. And directly to the thermostat to send control signals, adjust the air conditioning temperature, to achieve demand control.

In addition to the time of use (TOU: TimeOfUse), each power company also considers various fee packages that control peak demand in the year.

For example, Pacific Gas & Electronics (PG&E), headquartered in California, set a package called PDP (Peak Day Pricing). In the PDP package, 10 peak days of peak annual electricity demand are set as “peak days”. During the peak days, electricity charges are higher than TOU (divided into 5 billing segments per day). In addition, during the “off-peak days”, daytime electricity rates are lower than TOU. To deal with peak summer electricity demand. The company provided PDP charging packages for large-scale users in 2010, and plans to apply to ordinary families for applications starting in 2011.

Although all companies are in the experimental stage, some of the larger effects have gradually become apparent. For example, OncorElectricDelivery, a Texas large-scale power company, stated that "through this demand control solution, it can reduce the power consumption by 5 to 15%." According to the company's calculations, assuming that all users of the company have installed smart meters to control their electricity demand, they can reduce the amount of electricity by up to 250 million U.S. dollars (about 1.6 billion yuan) each year, and there is no need to consider the addition of 12 generations of electricity in the next 10 years. Station plan.

As in the U.S. electricity market, European power companies that have liberalized their businesses have also provided lower electricity bills by adopting demand control electricity packages in order to retain users.

Accompanied by demand control solutions of European and American power companies, some smart meter manufacturers, ICT companies that provide communication infrastructure such as AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure), and service providers that provide power control solutions through service between power companies and demand families Businesses and other companies have joined the electricity market and started providing communications equipment, software and other products for the electricity market.

Japan Earthquake Or Will Promote Its Accelerated Installation

Japan revised its energy basic plan in June 2010. The policy it introduced was “to continue to fully consider the effect of investment, and to install all smart meters for all applicants as soon as possible in 2020”. Currently, the company is still installing smart meters. Experimental stage. Kansai Electric Power, which has installed the most, completed 610,000 households at the end of November 2011 and announced that it will start experimenting with 90,000 families for 2 to 3 years from the end of 2010.

Japan’s power companies have not been able to feel the need for research on demand control solutions in the United States because they have always had a stable power supply capability. For this reason, the main purpose of the current development, testing, and installation of smart meters is to improve the efficiency of remote meter reading, remote switching, and the like, and there is almost no idea that the collected information is used to control the power consumption of household equipment.

However, the Great Japan Earthquake triggered the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Tokyo Electric Power also experienced power supply problems similar to those of the American Electric Power Company. It demanded that large companies reduce power consumption by 25% during peak demand during the summer. Families also need to reduce 15 to 20%. For large companies, adjusting the power supply agreement will bring about the effect of demand control. However, for households, it is not possible for every family to work in a household, and only some power-saving appeals can be made.

If it is assumed that all users' homes of Tokyo Electric Power have smart meters installed, they can be "smart" as in the US experiment, and they can control the demand for electricity.

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