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Symposium 2011

Pioneering Smart Electricity Systems

The Challenge

The nuclear catastrophe in Japan in March 2011 radically changed many preconceptions around the world about energy for the future. Before then, many countries with nuclear power plants sought a constant or rising share of nuclear energy in the mix, while today the future of nuclear energy is unsettled. At the same time, the threat of climate change requires restrictions on the use of fossil fuels such as coal for electricity generation.

In the face of this dual challenge, severe cuts in the global use of conventional electricity sources are regarded as inevitable. The hope of policy-makers, environmentalists and entrepreneurs rests on electricity demand management. According to this concept, electricity demand could be shifted by an external system operator, making it possible to shift electricity load from peak hours to off-peak hours and to save idle capacity. In addition, demand could be adapted to fluctuating electricity supply from renewable sources.

But a precondition for electricity demand management is adaptation of the electricity grid to allow for bidirectional communication between the operator controlling electricity sources and grid stability on the one hand and the electricity sinks on the other.

Bidirectional communication within a “smart grid” is not a mere technical specification. It is a gateway for new players in the electricity market (including, for example, technology companies and manufacturers of electrical appliances) and a challenge for the existing market structure. It requires regulation that is just as “smart” as the new electricity market.

Which concrete technical obstacles hinder the development of electricity demand management and “smart grids” that allow for bidirectional communication? What investments are necessary for this purpose? Can these investments be left to private companies or will public finance be necessary?

How will new players in the electricity markets challenge the business models of established incumbents? How can the transition of electricity markets foster increasing competition and efficiency? What is a socially desirable regulatory framework for these new markets? How can suppliers of electricity and “smart” appliances get end users on board? What tariff structure could provide the appropriate incentives for private households?

Which value added services of smart metering can be promoted? How can the communication structure of a “smart” electricity system be protected against cyber-crime? How can consumer concerns about data privacy be addressed?

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Standardize regulation, communication protocols and metering equipment. In case of supra-national standardization, leave enough freedom to account for country-specific requirements.

    Standardize regulation, communication protocols and metering equipment. In case of supra-national standardization, leave enough freedom to account for country-specific requirements.

    Standardize regulation, communication protocols and metering equipment. In case of supra-national standardization, leave enough freedom to account for country-specific requirements.

    Polity
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Develop adequate price incentives for end users.

    Develop adequate price incentives for end users.

    Develop adequate price incentives for end users.

    Polity
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Develop nonmonetary incentives for end users, such as the visualization of energy and carbon savings, as well as reputation- based incentives.

    Develop nonmonetary incentives for end users, such as the visualization of energy and carbon savings, as well as reputation- based incentives.

    Develop nonmonetary incentives for end users, such as the visualization of energy and carbon savings, as well as reputation- based incentives.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Limit public financial support to solutions that are cost-effective and only realize projects if amortization of costs is ensured.

    Limit public financial support to solutions that are cost-effective and only realize projects if amortization of costs is ensured.

    Limit public financial support to solutions that are cost-effective and only realize projects if amortization of costs is ensured.

    Polity
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Enforce the installation of smart meters not only in newly built houses, but also in already existing buildings.

    Enforce the installation of smart meters not only in newly built houses, but also in already existing buildings.

    Enforce the installation of smart meters not only in newly built houses, but also in already existing buildings.

    Polity, Business

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Interdisciplinary solutions for the smart grid

    “Smart grid is not just about innovation in hardware and metering, it is much more about information, incentives, behavior and acceptance. Therefore, creativity and collaboration of all contributing ...

    “Smart grid is not just about innovation in hardware and metering, it is much more about information, incentives, behavior and acceptance. Therefore, creativity and collaboration of all contributing disciplines is crucial.” Which concrete technical obstacles hinder the development of electricity demand management and “smart grids” that allow for bidirectional communication? There are several obstacles observable. In the moment there is a lack of common and open standards for bidirectional communication in the smart grid. The smart grid needs a critical mass of participants (network effect) which is hard to achieve without common standards. If components in the system use a

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    The right to consume electricity

    In order to reduce the amount of electricity consumption, we would like to introduce the following solution. First, we would calculate the desirable consumption of electricity for each country, by con ...

    In order to reduce the amount of electricity consumption, we would like to introduce the following solution. First, we would calculate the desirable consumption of electricity for each country, by considering their GDP, population and other subjects. Each country distribute right to consume electricity to “players” such as companies, local governments and individuals. We would also build a new market where “players” can buy and sell the right in the similar way to securities trades. If one “player” reduces the amount of consumption, it will get an extra right to consume electricity. It can sell the right to others in

    Polity, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    What makes regulation smart?

    The deep process of transformation of the European electricity grids into smart grids is going to be a challenge for grid companies and users. There are three main issues: A. Costs are likely to incre ...

    The deep process of transformation of the European electricity grids into smart grids is going to be a challenge for grid companies and users. There are three main issues: A. Costs are likely to increase: The integration of DG, demand response and large scale RES should increase certain grid costs, especially system operation costs and service quality costs. Furthermore, grid companies will not be willing to make significant new investment (e.g., grid reinforcement, voltage control, specific maintenance, or smart meters) without a guaranteed adjusted remuneration. B. Revenues are likely to shrink: At the same time, integrating more DG and more demand

    Polity, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Pioneering Smart Electricity Systems

    Identify main goals to be met within the energy transition The energy transition away from conventional plant and towards renewables, which has the aim of sustainable, low-carbon production, gives ris ...

    Identify main goals to be met within the energy transition The energy transition away from conventional plant and towards renewables, which has the aim of sustainable, low-carbon production, gives rise to a number of challenges. It is with the solution to such challenges where the role of Smart Electricity Systems (SES) can play a role, and it is important then to work out which functions SES can fill economically (in the sense that the energy production costs saved cover the equipment costs) and where other methods (e.g. simply enhanced intra-day trading) could not meet the same objectives more cheaply. The

    Polity, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Super Grid: Power generation and ICT will converge

    Climate change, finite fossil fuels and an intolerable residual risk from the operation of nuclear power stations are leading to an energy revolution that will pose challenges for large parts of Europ ...

    Climate change, finite fossil fuels and an intolerable residual risk from the operation of nuclear power stations are leading to an energy revolution that will pose challenges for large parts of European industries. We will have to learn to cope with decentralized power supplies, which will take a great deal of intelligence. We will work together across national borders in a super grid. With its geographical diversity, Europe is predestined to generate and store power in a large variety of places. This represents a huge opportunity for European industry to play a pioneering role.Communication and information technology radically changed business

    Polity, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Pioneering Smart Electricity Systems

    Fostering the large-scale implementation of smart meters through suitable regulation Smart meters are electrical meters that are able to communicate information on electricity consumption back to the ...

    Fostering the large-scale implementation of smart meters through suitable regulation Smart meters are electrical meters that are able to communicate information on electricity consumption back to the operator. The wide-spread installation of smart meters at electricity sinks is one necessary precondition for the implementation of end-user-producer-communication. Accordingly, regulation to incentivize or stipulate their installation is a central puzzle piece of the full smart grid picture. Establishing uniform technical and regulatory standards Uniform technical and regulatory standards within and across national borders will improve the efficiency of smart electricity systems and enhance the impact of smart electricity distribution. Differing

    Polity, Business, Civil Society