An initial assessment of the potential impact of smart metering on a decentralised energy network

Mckinstry, Gordon and Galloway, Stuart and Kockar, Ivana; (2010) An initial assessment of the potential impact of smart metering on a decentralised energy network. In: Proceedings of the 45th International Universities Power Engineering Conference (UPEC), 2010. IEEE, pp. 1-4. ISBN 9781424476671

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In keeping with the Highly Distributed Energy Future (HiDEF) vision of the electricity networks, smart grids, distributed generation and domestic generation have significant roles. The HiDEF vision foresees the existing preference for national electricity networks being replaced with multiple smaller localised grids, known as “cells”. Each cell will contain generation capacity, load centres, a market place for the trading of energy and if the technology matures sufficiently, some large scale energy storage capabilities, most likely provided by either fly-wheel, fuel cell or ultra-capacitor technologies. In each domestic property, the HiDEF vision foresees the capability for domestic generation, primarily through the use of small scale generation (eg, wind turbines, photovoltaic cells or CHP), the use of an electricity storage media perhaps an electric car and its associated batteries and the ubiquitous use of smart metering. Wide spread deployment of smart metering technology, with domestic load management capabilities, has the potential to influence the demand profile of a "cell". Non-critical loads could be time-shifted to reduce peaks and fill troughs in the demand profile. Additionally, smart metering could be employed to present the home owner with real-time information regarding the cost and usage of electricity. This would allow a number of new electricity tariffs to be developed, for example, where each person is allocated a defined amount of electricity at a lower rate with all additional usage at a higher rate or an on-peak / off-peak scenario where electricity is cheaper at different times of the day. In this paper the Hi-DEF vision of the electricity network will be outlined and the role of smart grids within this vision will be described. Additionally, the potential impact of a wide deployment of smart metering technologies will be discussed from an analysis of the existing research into this field.