Intelligent measurement systems

Smart meters for the future

The act on the digitalisation of the energy transition was passed in July 2016. This officially adopts the rollout of intelligent measurement systems and modern measurement devices. Equipped with modern measurement devices

and smart meter gateways, these systems create prerequisites that will allow renewable energy sources with their fluctuating availability to be integrated into the electricity grid. 

Intelligent measurement systems

Smart meter

Things will go into high gear in early 2017: That is when the act on the digitalisation of the energy transition will enter into force, resulting in an increasing number of mechanical electricity meters being replaced with intelligent ones. Modern measuring devices, also called smart meters, will be finding their way into a total of over 40 million German homes.

To continuously increase the percentage of renewable energy in the energy mix, an intelligent energy systems is necessary. This is because the fluctuating feeding-in of e.g. solar and wind energy requires prompt and precise regulation of electricity generation and electricity consumption. Only by doing so can the supply voltage and frequency be kept constant. Intelligent electricity meters play a key role in this context. They inform energy consumers of their actual requirements, and make it possible to optimally coordinate generation and consumption. Hence, smart meters are also an important building block for the increasing digitalisation of society, which continues to pervade everyday life.

Act on the digitalisation of the energy transition

With the act on the digitalisation of the energy transition, which was passed on 8 July 2016 in the Bundesrat and will enter into force on 1 January 2017, a regulatory framework has been created for the rollout of intelligent measurement systems. Among other things, this act regulates the safety, storage, and use of the data generated, so that data privacy and data security are ensured.

Initially, measurement systems will be replaced in households that have their own energy production systems, such as photovoltaic systems or mini combined heat and power installations. Smart meters support such "prosumers" by measuring how much self-generated electricity they feed into the electricity grid as well as how much electricity they draw from the grid when necessary. Appliances with a particularly high consumption will also be outfitted with smart meters in the first phase of the rollout.

Subsequently, all meters in Germany will be replaced successively starting in 2020. This is expected to be completed by 2032.

dena to monitor the introduction of smart meters

dena will monitor the testing and introduction of intelligent measurement systems. When doing so, it will pay attention to both the technical and economic challenges arising from the widespread use of smart meters, and involve itself in the further development of the regulatory framework through position papers. The operative design of the rollout and the cost-benefits analyses are the subject of the dena Smart Meter Study. In addition, it also offers recommended courses of action for operators of distribution grids and metering stations. Finally, dena will also inform consumers by documenting, evaluating, and publishing application case scenarios and real-world experiences.