Smart Metering and Demand-Side Integration

5.1 Introduction

In many countries, the power infrastructure is ageing and is being increasingly heavily used as demand for electricity rises. This overloading will worsen as large numbers of electric vehicles, heat pumps and other new loads use low-carbon energy from the electric power system. Obtaining planning permission for the installation of new power system equipment, particularly overhead lines, is becoming increasingly difficult. Therefore, demand-side programmes have been introduced widely to make better use of the existing power supply infrastructure and to control the growth of demand.

The dual aims of reducing CO2 emissions and improving energy security (energy policy goals in many countries) coincide in the increasing use of renewable energy for electricity generation. However, connection of a large amount of intermittent renewable generation alters the pattern of the output of central generation and the power flows in both transmission and distribution circuits. One solution to this increase in variability is to add large-scale energy storage devices to the power system. This is often not practical at present due to technical limitations and cost. Therefore, flexibility in the demand side is seen as another way to enable the integration of a large amount of renewable energy.

Load control or load management has been widespread in power system operation for a long time with a variety of terminology used to describe it. The ...

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