September 19, 2013
The consumptive dialogue on energy is not novel. Germany is known for its innovation and prowess in manufacturing have identified smart meters as potentially invasive. The voices in push back are in the minority at this time as Germany seeks to lead the way in smart steps to energy efficiency. The vocalization of the “Industry concerned as Germany may reject the adoption of smart meters” is a step away from smart grid infrastructure.
The Herald Online from the EU reported the reservations of Germany to push smart metering giving energy utilities “access to when and how consumers use electricity”. The resistance to smart meters is said to “pose a threat to $44 (€33) billion of smart grid investment”.
Last August, Germany’s Economy Ministry published such as report, carried out by external consultants, rejecting smart meters as too expensive to deliver economic benefits.
“Germany has 48 million meters and the replacement of them over a 5-7 year period would have generated an estimated $8 (€6) billion revenues for smart meter and communications manufacturers. This amount does not include the estimated $10 (€7.5) billion that would be spent on supporting infrastructure, project management and installation (numbers based on Frost & Sullivan’s internal forecasts made for the upcoming Global AMI report to be published in the Autumn). “If Germany instead decides to install smart meters only when existing meters need replacing, this would be a massive blow to the industry,” says Neha. Approximately 90 percent of Germany’s meter are electromechanical and these can have a working life of anywhere from 20-40 years. The situation for meter manufacturers could worsen if other countries follow Germany’s lead. “If a country with the political strength of Germany opts out,” adds Ms Vikash.”
With any technology the cost of replacement or upgrades must be considerable factor. The science and utility of smart grid technology is the initial cost in tooling the mechanism for durability and the upgrade costs in operability. The rational for absorption may have to fall on the backs off all concerned inclusive of the manufacturer and suppliers. The risk-reward in non-action to energy efficiency and infrastructure is a sustainability question to be tackled in the short-and-long-term.
- IBM, E.ON Build the Cloud for Germany’s Smart Meter Future (greentechmedia.com)
- British Gas contract creates 600 jobs as smart meter roll-out begins (telegraph.co.uk)
- The U.K.’s smart meter plan kicks into high gear (gigaom.com)