DThe energy transition not only depends on what type and how much energy is generated and consumed, but also on who can access and store it and when. In the future, supply and demand are to be coordinated more precisely, which will also be reflected in constantly changing purchase prices. In addition, decentralized temporary storage can be used, for example in parked electric vehicles. The prerequisites for this are intelligent networks and intelligent measuring points, also known as smart grids and smart meters. The latter is dealt with in a draft law on the “restart of the digitization of the energy transition”, which the federal cabinet passed in Berlin on Wednesday.
The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) had already initiated the installation of networked electricity meters in 2020. However, due to setbacks in administration, technology, logistics and safety requirements, the venture did not get off the ground. So far, the smart meters had to be delivered using special transport. Instead, they could go directly to craftsmen or households in the future, announced Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) after the cabinet meeting in Berlin, “just like Fritz boxes” for Internet reception.
The amendment is to come into force after it has been passed in the Bundestag in the spring. It envisages that in 2025, i.e. in two years, all consumers will be able to get a smart meter. At 20 euros a year, they should cost less than before, and the network operators will be more involved. Until then, all electricity providers must have “dynamic tariffs” on offer. With the help of the meters and the corresponding apps, it will then be possible to obtain cheap electricity at certain times, for example when there is a lot of wind. “Power guzzlers” in the household can also be identified, optimized or switched off in this way, including standby functions, as Habeck explained.
Starting with larger consumers, by 2030 most households, companies, swimming pools or schools should be equipped with digital devices instead of three-phase meters; this must be the case across the board by the end of 2032. The Federal Office for Information Security will remain involved in the technology, and data security will at least be maintained, Habeck assured. But you drive back unnecessary requirements. This includes the rule that certification from three independent manufacturers was required for each stage of development.
Habeck pointed out that the importance of electricity is growing, also at home via heat pumps and electric cars: “Our future energy system will be much more flexible and therefore also more complex, for which we need smart meters and digitization of the energy transition.” The “rollout” will now “systematized, accelerated and reduced bureaucracy”.