The European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG), representing the leading companies in the area of smart metering, welcomed the European Commission's Communication on Smart Grids, but says that efforts in the area of smart grids have to be expedited if the EU is going to meet its 20-20-20 goals.
Today, the European Commission published a Communication on "Smart Grids: from Innovation to Deployment." In the Communication, the Commission describes the benefits of smart metering and smart grids and says that the smart grid must be developed if the EU is to meet its energy and environmental policy goals. Moreover, Commissioner Oettinger highlighted this morning at a press conference during EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels that consumers would reduce their energy consumption by at least 10% through the use of smart meters.
The Communication describes a number of actions the Commission may take in order to speed-up the deployment of smart metering and smart grids in Europe. Among these are increased standardisation, development of a cost-sharing model to increase the willingness of grid operators to undertake the necessary smart grid investments, developing a methodology for smart meter implementation plans in the Member States, and asking the Member States to develop national action plans for the development of smart grids.
"This Communication is praiseworthy in so far as the Commission has not only correctly identified the benefits of smart metering, but also the hurdles to quicker deployment," said, Andreas Umbach, President of ESMIG. Umbach went on to say, "The smart metering industry for some time has been promoting the energy savings potential of this technology. Now, the European Commission recognises energy savings of 10% and more are possible through smart metering. This fact alone should drive all 27 Member States to rollout smart metering as soon as possible."
ESMIG sees the development of standards and a regulatory regime that allows utilities to make the necessary investments in smart metering the key to the rapid development of smart grids. According to the association, smart metering is the foundation of a smart grid, and the quicker smart metering is rolled out, the faster the development of intelligence in the grid and associated smart grid applications can take place.