Some of the biggest energy companies in Europe have formed the European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG) in Europe. The consortium of like-minded firms seeks to share smart metering information and expertise in a European context. ESMIG will promote the transformation of the European power grid into a smart grid complete with the latest technologies.
In conjunction with the group’s introduction, a position paper titled “Smart Metering for Europe: a key technology to achieve the 20-20-20 targets” details how a continent-wide smart grid rollout would be beneficial.
“The current European transmission grid will have to meet several challenges, such as the integration of large amounts of off-shore wind power, the massive trading flows a liberalised energy market entails and active demand-side management measures,” reads the position paper. “The ability to cope with these challenges is exactly what is required in order to meet the EU’s energy and environmental policy goals. If the grid is to be transformed to perform these functions then the associated metering infrastructure must be likewise transformed because this is what will change consumers’ behaviour, and will provide the data transparency needed to make the network function.”
“ESMIG is striving to change the way we consume energy,” said Andreas Umbach at the group’s introduction in Brussels, Belgium. “Together we represent the entire smart metering value chain, but more importantly, we provide a technology that is available today – in the here and now – but is also a key to our energy supply and environmental goals of the future.” Umbach is the president of the ESMIG and also is the chief operating officer at Landis+Gyr.
“The European Union has to use its economic advantage in industries like yours,” said MEP Claude Turmes. “Your association will be indispensable in future policy discussions.”
The EU has said it wants to reduce the continent’s output of greenhouse gases by 20 percent, an improvement in energy efficiency by 20 percent and a 20 percent share of renewable energy of the total energy supply – all by 2020. Umbach said that smart metering technology must be deployed across Europe if the EU is to achieve its goals. “These targets mean that we must change,” he said. “The metering industry has already begun as we understand that smart metering is an essential building block for smart grids as well as Europe’s ability to create an energy infrastructure for the future, which is essential for increased energy efficiency.”
All areas of the smart metering industry are well represented by ESMIG including electrical, water, gas and heat measurement. Member companies that form the coalition represent the entire value chain including smart meter manufacturing, supporting software, consulting and installation plus technologies that enable communications and promote systems integration.
ESMIG will provide support to EU member-state lawmakers and their respective institutions and regulatory bodies with the goal of implementing a continental smart grid solution. Smart grids will be developed at a national level and then integrated into a pan-European system.
“Although not an end in itself, Smart Metering is an indispensable contributor to the three pillars of EU energy policy: competitiveness, security of supply and environmental protection. Moreover, it is one of the means by which the EU can achieve its ambitious 20-20-20 targets.”
Membership of ESMIG is open to any company that supplies metering services or products in Europe.