ICT the putty holding it together
Mrs Riedmann de Trinidad says her vision for the energy industry is that power generation and ICT will converge in the same way as telecommunications and information technology before them. She continues: “ICT is the putty holding together innumerable forms of decentralized power generation. And I'm not just thinking of photovoltaic systems and wind power – these days there are also pressure-sensitive floor coverings. Admittedly they only generate a small amount of electricity, but imagine this technology in airports or rail stations. We will generate electricity in places we haven't even thought of yet. Tomorrow's energy landscape will be very complex. Computer systems will organize small units and exchange with other grids. Grids will become super grids.”
Europe could play pioneering role
Regarding challenges facing the industry she notes: “climate change, finite fossil fuels and an intolerable residual risk from the operation of nuclear power stations are leading to an energy revolution that will pose challenges for large parts of European industries. We will have to learn to cope with decentralized power supplies, which will take a great deal of intelligence. We will work together across national borders in a super grid. With its geographical diversity, Europe is predestined to generate and store power in a large variety of places. This represents a huge opportunity for European industry to play a pioneering role.”
Investments in smart grids is money well invested
As part of the high-level industry line-up for the Metering Europe keynote session, Mrs Riedmann de Trinidad will focus on the huge investments that will be made in smart grids by 2030, to the tune of EUR390 billion. She explains: “The energy revolution will cost a lot of money. But it is money well invested, because it ensures our survival on planet Earth. All the follow-up costs of climate change are far higher than the costs of stopping climate change in the first place. Or just think of our day-to-day lives – a life without air pollution and noise is a great bonus to our quality of life.”
Deutsche Telekom success stories
The Deutsche Telekom internet gateway is a success story that she is most proud of so far: “Standards lay the foundation for fair competition, and our internet gateway now communicates with 90 smart meters and translates the proprietary data structure into Internet protocol. In the early days every meter manufacturer tried its own way and it took a lot of work to convince them to get on board with IP, with worldwide digital language. These days, meter manufacturers are knocking on our door.”
This is also the message she will share at Metering Europe: “Let us make use of international standards, let us learn from other industries that underwent liberalization and digitization before the energy sector, and – let us boldly deploy the latest technology where it makes sense – I'm thinking of cloud computing.”
The T-City in Friedrichshafen, near Lake Constance, which is one of the largest smart metering projects in Germany, is another very exciting project for Deutsche Telekom says Mrs Riedmann de Trinidad: “now we are starting with smart grid components, step by step. Our work has awoken interest from around the world; we recently welcomed delegations from China and Brazil to look at our work.”
More highlights from the Metering Europe opening keynote session include:
• Fabrizio Barbaso, Deputy Director General, DG Energy at the European Commission: The future EU energy direction and the role of smart metering in influencing regulation and policy in member states.
• Mark Dierikx, Director General for Energy, Telecom and Markets at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation: How smart meters are a prerequisite for the future smart grid and its societal and economic long-term benefits.
• Peter Molengraaf, Chairman of the Management Board at Alliander: The importance of a secure smart metering system as a cornerstone for a stable electricity distribution network.
• Richard Schomberg, Chairman, IEC Smart Grid Strategic Group and responsible for EDF Group Smart Energy Standards: The importance of EU standardization and interoperability as a first step towards an integrated smart grid.
4-6 October 2011: conference
3 October 2011: pre-conference seminars
Amsterdam RAI, Europaplein 22, Amsterdam
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