Smart Meter Europe: Spain Jumping Ahead

October 7, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Two themes marked today’s Smart Meter session in Barcelona.  First, amid tremendous energy and enthusiasm – the show has a record 3,200 attendees – many participants are frustrated by a lack of concrete progress.  The excitement comes from the EU’s directive to roll out smart meters to all consumers by 2022, from the commitments by the UK and others to do it even sooner, and from the active planning and strategy development underway by all of Europe’s major utilities.  The frustration, in contrast, comes from the small number of announced projects.  The crowd was restless, wanting to see less talk and more action.

The second theme, though, is that real progress is happening.  And that was demonstrated when Endesa’s CEO, Jose Luis Marin Lopez-Otero told the audience that Endesa will begin rolling out smart meters in three months, at the rate of two million meters per year.  Endesa is not waiting for all the i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed.  And Endesa is publishing its meter design to make it available to others as well, hoping to create a de facto standard, promote more rapid adoption, and reduce costs.  When I later spoke to Senor Lopez-Otero, he said one of Endesa’s main drivers is to get energy usage information in the hands of Endesa’s consumers, so they can save energy and reduce carbon emissions, and available – with the consumer’s permission – to retailers, so they can offer new pricing and service options.  He emphasized the importance of these benefits in light of his experience coming from the telecommunications sector.

Next year, Endesa and a few others will move forward aggressively, and the remaining utilities will begin implementing the plans on which they’ve worked so hard.  Net net?  2010 promises to be a big year on this side of the Pond.

– Chris King

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Entry filed under: Chris King, European Smart Grid regulation, Smart Grid, smart grid benefits, Standards. Tags: , , , , , .

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