I attended the Smart Grids Week conference in Linz on May 26th and here is a short overview of the most important ideas presented there concerning smart metering. In the first presentation Andrea Kollmann stated that the energy efficiency of the smart meter itself has to be considered during the design of a smart grid. She also presented the outcome of some smart grid projects (SMARAGD, SMADA, Smart New World) that deal with legal issues concerning security and privacy of smart grids.
Harald Schäffler talked about a consumer study he conducted. The main points were that there is hardly any market resonance in Germany because smart grids are not interesting for energy providers. From his point of view the key factors to make such a system successful are transparency, costs, control and the social aspect.
The key points of other presentations and the panel discussion were that security is a very important factor also simplicity, transparency and automation instead of user interaction are necessary in order to gain acceptance among users. Due to the growing number of photovoltaic facilities and e-mobility solutions these should also be considered.
So to conclude, the most important aspects when designing a smart metering /smart grid system are security, ease of use and value-added services. One highlight I would like to mention was the last panel discussion moderated by Michael Kerbler which was especially informative and entertaining.