A4 : Expansion of DER aggregation needs minimum common requirements in ICT infrastructure
Smart metering refers to metering infrastructure rather than the properties of a meter. It includes automated metering reading and management of meters and data, provision of data and communication for billing, energy retail, energy efficiency, demand response, distribution grid operation and management, energy services for the customer and aggregation of Distributed Energy Resources (DER).
To what extent will enabling technologies such as smart metering and data communication reduce costs and other barriers to profitable aggregation and penetration of small flexible Distributed Energy Resources (DER)?
Mass rollouts of smart metering are on the way in several European countries, but common European requirements on functionalities, data availability and interfaces are still missing
The situation of smart metering in Europe was reviewed at the ESMA JRC joint smart metering workshop on 16-17 February 2009. Decisions made so far imply that by 2020 electricity smart metering has nearly full penetration in the following countries: Sweden (2009), Italy (2011), Ireland and Portugal (2013?), Finland and Norway (2014), France (ERDF, 2016), the Netherlands (2017), Spain (2018), and the UK (2020).
In the Netherlands and the UK gas metering is included. In addition, large implementations exist or have started in Denmark, Germany, etc. It is still unclear to what extent this development will be favourable to high penetration of aggregated small DER, because the necessary common minimum requirements on smart metering functionality, related performance levels, open interfaces and data availability are still missing.
A smart metering system (or an advanced metering infrastructure) is a promising way to meet many of the needs for metering, control and wide area data communication for aggregation of small DER
Smart metering provides energy market actors, including DER aggregators, with measurement data on energy billing and possibly also to some extent on the flows of active and reactive power, voltage quality, etc depending on how smart metering is implemented (see Figure 1).
The functionality and performance of existing meter reading systems varies greatly and modern systems can typically collect measurement data from minutes to 1 h resolution. Availability and performance of instantaneous reading, spontaneous communication and sending control signals vary. Getting higher time resolution and more real time measurement data at reasonable costs is usually only possible locally and requires that the meters include a local data output for that purpose.
The present wide area communication technologies applied for smart metering and small DER, such as GPRS, Power Line Carrier, narrow band radio and their combinations, have limitations regarding priorities, multicasting and availability that may cause some risks for large scale time critical control applications related to emergency control. GPRS bandwidth is seldom a problem and average availability and transfer times are acceptable, but the near worst case performance can be inadequate.
However the implementation of defence actions when developed following the state of the art concept is normally decomposed into two layers. The co-ordinating layer needs communication for setting up the scheme and for controlling the scheme response, which can be done asynchronously whereas the activation layer works based on local information only like locally sensed voltage or frequency. This allows operation with limited data throughput.
EU legislation, its national implementations and regulation may have a key role in creating common minimum requirements
Enabling the adequate development of such smart metering infrastructures and businesses at an acceptable cost serves also the needs of demand response, energy efficiency and DER aggregation. Lack of adequate common minimum requirements for smart metering functionality (e.g. what is measured), performance and data availability increases the costs and risks of aggregating small flexible DER.
An in-depth analysis of communication and smart metering technologies should be carried out
Research and development of requirements and related technical issues are still needed in order to develop smart metering systems and public communication infrastructures that more completely meet the requirements of high penetration of small distributed energy resources. This is an essential step towards SmartGrid infrastructure.
- Pekka KOPONENVTTWP3 - WP8email
- “P. Koponen, Smart metering and distributed energy resources, poster at the 3rd international conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources, Nice, 10-12.12.2008”
- “P. Koponen, Integration of metering with DER management?, Metering Europe 2004, 29.09.2004”
- Europe ESMA-JRC joint smart metering workshop 16-17 Feb 2009, available for free at http://sunbird.jrc.it/energyefficiency >events