Observing the renewable energy transition from a European perspective

Archive for the category “smart grid”

Smart Grid Denmark

Smart Meter Chaos in Germany


Early adopter in all things renewable energy Germany is running the risk of maneuvering itself into a chaotic situation regarding smart metering. Beginning next year new regulations apply for new buildings, large scale renovations or for those consuming more than 6000 kwh electricity: smart meters become obligatory. The problem: the regulations are ill-defined.

Clear is that supply and consumption data should be readily available on a per-minute basis and quickly distributed, so the network operator can almost instantaneously compare supply and demand.

But that’s about it. A detailed specification of smart meter requirements has yet to be written. Specifically the Federal Office of Information Security (BSI) has failed to deliver and as a consequence several manufacturers can’t offer certified meters.

The German government has decided that for the duration of 2015, non-certified meters can be installed, endangering a unified smart meter infrastructure. Smart meters should enable customers to profit from varying electricity prices and preferably consume electricity when supply is abundant. Obvious applications: washing machine, dryer, e-car, heat-pump.

The CDU-SPD government is highly criticized for missing out on the possibilities of smart mering and that there are still millions of “three-phase meters from the days of the emperor” around.


[] – Deutschland droht das Stromzähler-Chaos

IT Aspects of Smart Grids

This posts contains rather specialized IT knowledge that comes with running a smart grid. Youtube text: Governments worldwide are mandating improved energy efficiency and investing heavily in smart energy infrastructure. Leveraging the deployment of communication-enabled electric meters, many applications can be offered to optimize usage, improve the reliability of distribution and transmission networks, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Home Energy Gateway (HEG) is the hub connecting the utility-controlled smart grid and smart appliances in homes. This session provides an overview and demonstration of an HEG proof-of-concept running on Java ME CLDC VM. The HEG solution features implementation of a demand response Web services client; the Zigbee API for wireless connectivity; and an embedded Web server for remote device control, monitoring, and application management.

[] – Open smart grid protocol
[] – Making the Smart Grid Smarter with Embedded Java
[] – Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP)

Read more…

Smart Grids In Europe

Study from 2011 about the state of affairs of smart grids, focussed on Europe. The Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP) is one of the most widely used protocols to tie these smart meters, solar panels, gateways and other devices together.

Smart meters installed now (millions):
EU – 45
USA – 36

Particularly Italy is the most advanced in this field.

[Smart meter penetration 2011/2015 in Europe]
[Detail smart metering landscape report EU]

Projected for 2020:
EU – 240 [Pike Research]
India – 130
Brazil – 64
USA – 60

[data above from page 15]
EU Commission target: 80% by 2020.

The Enernet

Bob Metcalfe, founder of 3Com and co-inventor of Ethernet, gives a lecture at Singularity University ( in July 2009. Metcalfe outlines the Enernet, applying the Internet model to one of the most pressing issues facing the globe today, energy.


Telekom moves into energy market

Resource depletion might be bad news for consumers, but that does not mean that there aren’t opportunities for companies in the energy market. On the contrary. Deutsche Telekom was already able to deliver kilobytes to your mobile phone, now it plans to deliver kilojoules to your doorstep as well. Telekom suffers from declining income from its phone devision so it is now looking for different fields to operate in. Read more…


Something is happening in Europe in response to the immanent energy crisis: Desertec. A project aiming at generating electricity by thermal solar power in the Sahara desert.
Planned capacity: 2 Gigawatt.
Startdate construction: 2014
Startdate production: 2016
Read more…

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