The energy network is undergoing a digital transformation, driving improvements to services, pricing and innovation for customers. At the heart of this transformation is the smart meter which will prove fundamental to the delivery of the new digital grid.
A digital, or smart grid includes a variety of measures from smart meters and smart appliances to renewable and energy efficient resources. Crucially, it is a digital energy system that will be better equipped to cope with modern energy demands.
A smart grid is an example of the Internet of Things (IoT) in action – an energy generation, transmission and distribution network enhanced by digital control, monitoring and telecommunications capabilities. One of the defining features of the smart grid is the possibilities associated with predictive analytics enabling the shift from reactive to proactive operations, empowering suppliers and grid system operators to reduce capital expenditure, manage demand, increase renewable capacity and enhance customer’s engagement and control of their energy usage.
Market conditions have driven the need for a digital grid while technological advancements and development have enabled it. The analogue grid is already evolving with the adoption of low-carbon technologies, resulting in a shift to a flexible, supply-focused energy system.
A new smart grid will enable Britain to capitalise upon sustainable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to help meet the 80 percent carbon reduction targets that are needed to effectively tackle climate change. They will also enable energy suppliers to meet rising demand, improve energy efficiency and integrate low-carbon energy sources into power networks.
A 21st century energy system begins at home and smart meters provide the means with which to encourage consumer engagement in adapting their behaviour. By analysing the data collected by smart meters, suppliers and distributors will have much more accurate figures and statistics relating to Britain’s energy use, enabling them to better match energy supply with demand.
Furthermore, because a low carbon energy system relies on factors such as the wind and sun, it can result in more variable output levels. A system built around smart meters will minimise the risk and challenge posed by variable factors by efficiently matching demand to available supply.
Smart meters allow people in their homes and businesses to better understand their own energy usage, linking what they are doing with the energy required to do it. This will enable them to adapt their behaviour in order to reduce their usage and bills, tackle climate change and ultimately deliver a low carbon future. For innovative businesses, smart meters provide an opportunity to deliver valuable energy services aligned to their consumers’ needs and expectations.
Smart meter infrastructure also offers the chance to change the way people consume, produce and store energy as well as how they choose their supplier. Meanwhile innovations will see smart meters working in tandem with home technologies such as smart white goods, energy storage devices, smart speakers, wearable technology and electric vehicle chargers.
What’s Generis’ role in all of this?
Generis is part of the Landis+Gyr Group which has a portfolio of Advanced Grid Analytics applications designed to help solve power quality, reliability, revenue protection and other operational challenges by harnessing available distribution data.
On behalf of Landis+Gyr, while we continue to work with third parties to facilitate the enrolment and adoption of SMETS1 meters into the DCC, we’ve also launched the B-Smart Smart Metering Key Infrastructure (SMKI) Service to complement the SMETS2 deployment process, enabling a more efficient route from factory to wall. This nationwide roll-out will form a key part of the ongoing evolution from passive grids to smart, digital grids, helping small businesses and consumers to better understand and manage their energy usage.
Phil Mansbridge – Head of Sales & Product Development, Generis Technology.