Energy transition needs specific energy information network

Energy transition needs specific energy information network

The German energy transition needs a specific energy information network, the Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (VDE) says, recommending a 450 MHz LTE wireless network, smart meters and fiber-optic communication to the home (FTTH).

According to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), Germany wants to reach a share of renewables in the gross electricity consumption of 80% by 2050 (cf. Section 1 para. 2 EEG 2014). Presently, renewables have a share of approximately 27.3%.

VDE points out that volatile, renewable power plants change the load flow in the grids. To avoid instability the medium and low voltage grids needed modern load management as well as control and feed-back control systems (Steuerungs- und Regelungstechnik) and information transmission technology. A new VDE paper Communication Grid for the Smart Grid shows that a combination of a broadband over power line communication (BPL) on the low voltage level with a sector-specific wireless network with a 450 MHz operating frequency and LTE technology was the best and sustainable solution for the energy information network needed, the association says. This network could be used as a feeder network (Zubringernetz) to local grid connection points of the energy grid and the household connection could work by power line communication. Alternatively this technology allows for direct access to the basement of end consumers.

With financing and issues like the award of the licenses for the 450 MHz frequency still being open, VDE proposes to open the frequency to the general public for this application. In the medium and long-term sufficient bandwidth was needed, VDE stresses, adding that in the long-run congestion in the narrow 450 MHz band had to be expected. A viable solution that was also suitable for smart metering would be to expand the fibre optic broadband to the home, which could easily be combined with a 450 MHz wireless network, the association says. Regardless of smart meters a communication grid was imperative for smart grids and the integration of volatile renewable power plants into the electricity grids, VDE emphasises, adding that a sector-specific energy information network was key to the success of the energy transition, yet there was substantial need for debate so that stakeholders should begin discussions speedily.

Source: German Energy Blog

SMART GRID Bulletin April 2017

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