Mon 30 May 2016

Can smart meters lower Europe’s emissions?

The widespread implementation of smart meters is generally considered to match up with widespread lower emissions. Therefore, governments globally have been putting together various task forces to encourage the implementation, development and roll-out of smart metering devices.

The development of smart meters and smart grids is exciting – not only are smart meters set to save utilities money, but those savings are then passed onto consumers. Because of the potential for massive reductions in global carbon emissions, governments are helping to move things forward.

Smart meters reduce emissions.Smart meters reduce emissions.

Europe's 'Smart Grid Task Force' tackles emissions

There is encouraging progress currently being made within the European Union toward the widespread implementation of smart meters. In a new study by GlobalData, a research and consulting firm, Europe's total emissions could drop by up to 9 per cent by 2020, because of an aggressive new smart meter initiative.

The initiative aims to have up to 80 per cent of existing electrical meters be replaced by smart metering devices by 2020. The group behind the initiative is the European Smart Gird Task Force, which advises the European Commission on the development of smart grids as well as their deployment.

Smart meters are being rolled out across Europe.Smart meters are being rolled out across Europe.

The Smart Grids Task Force was set up by the European Commission in 2009 to promote issues linked to smart grids. The task force is made up of five specialist groups who focus on particular areas. Their research then helps form EU smart grid policies.

EU countries have been conducting cost-benefit analyses based on the guidelines provided by the European Commission. The analysis is being carried out to measure the overall cost effectiveness of smart metering.

Smart Balance

The Grid Policy Handbook for 2016 is GlobalData's latest policy report covering extensive information on the major policies that govern the smart grid in different countries. Within this handbook, GlobalData recommends that measures should be taken to "safeguard the balance between electricity demand and generation capacity availability."

Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham, an Analyst at GlobalData, explained that smart grids can help countries reach their renewable and emissions reducing targets.

"Smart grids facilitate the incorporation of renewable energy sources into the power system in a stable manner. This will help many countries to achieve their targets and meet domestic power requirements using clean power sources," said Nagatham.

Cutting household energy

According to GlobalData, the EU's current smart meter initiative could help reduce yearly household energy consumption. The European Commission has taken extra steps towards a sound smart meter policy, implementing guidelines on data collection.

While total smart grids are still awhile off, it is encouraging that governments are taking the right steps toward informed and proactive discussion, research and implementation.