Smart networks save energy

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Energy efficiency will be a key issue in the future - both for consumers and suppliers. With intelligent IT solutions and business models, Deutsche Telekom is helping to balance power production and consumption in a sensible way, and to ensure climate and environmental protection in the long term.

Thirty percent of the energy produced in Germany will come from renewable sources by the year 2020. Local and regenerative energy such as that from windmills or photovoltaic systems on the roofs of private homes makes energy distribution more complex and creates new requirements for network management. Furthermore, the EU’s energy efficiency directive requires providers to supply, on customer request, a monthly overview of power and gas consumption data by the end of 2010. This calls for innovative IT solutions: a tightly-knit network of intelligent meters –Smart Meters – that track household consumption. This key technology is the foundation for energy providers to control their networks in a cost- and energy-efficient manner. Supporting the endeavor are Deutsche Telekom’s high-performance information and communications technologies. Intelligent meters at T-City Friedrichshafen Some Smart Meters are already in use at T-City Friedrichshafen. T-Systems, together with Technische Werke Friedrichshafen (TWF), has equipped two city districts with the technology. The digital meters send consumption data to the city utility company via radio waves or DSL. Software then processes the information and makes it available to customers via a personalized Internet portal. Experience shows that this process helps users identify power-hungry devices and save up to 15 percent on energy consumption. Power and data networks grow together Once numerous intelligent meters make energy production and consumption transparent, the basis for Smart Grids, or smart energy networks, will be in place. Computers will control supply and demand in real time and be able to activate small hydroelectric power stations and switch supermarket freezers to lower settings for a quarter of an hour. For energy providers, emergency purchases on the energy exchange will be a thing of the past. Also, when coal and gas power plants are replaced by renewable sources of energy, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, Germany could reduce CO2 output by as much as 23.6 million tons by 2020. In addition, suppliers want to offer their customers flexible tariff and billing options. The smart energy network being developed in Friedrichshafen will benefit the environment, business, and consumers.