Germany announces relaunch of sluggish smart meter roll-out
Clean Energy Wire
The so far sluggish installation of smart meters in Germany is to be accelerated, economy minister Robert Habeck has announced. Installation of smart meters, which allow for a digitalised and efficient operation of the electricity grid, has so far been slowed down by legal uncertainties and bureaucratic hurdles, according to the German energy agency (dena). “It is no longer acceptable that we aren’t moving forward,” Habeck said when announcing a new start to the rollout. The government has now pledged to remove these hurdles with a comprehensive package of measures and to significantly accelerate and simplify their installation together with industry players. Andreas Kuhlmann, head of dena, said that “only with a digital energy system will renewable energies as well as electric cars and heat pumps be well integrated into the grid,” adding that “in the current energy crisis, all measures that can reduce consumption should be introduced quickly.”
The availability of real-time data provided by the digital meters is a prerequisite for flexible electricity tariffs. Smart meters allow for efficient energy consumption and help people benefit from cheap electricity from renewable energies through intelligent control. The first smart meter in a German household was installed in December 2018, months behind schedule. Since then, their roll-out has taken longer than planned because of security doubts and complex procedures. The increasing digitalisation of the power system is seen as a requirement for the smooth integration of renewable power sources, which due to their intermittent production patterns require more intervention and load management than conventional power plants. However, digitalisation comes with new challenges for IT security.