Climate change and limited resources remind us to use renewable energy. The European Union therefore demands that by 2020, renewables should account for 20 percent of total energy consumption. To achieve this objective, the German government guarantees feed-in compensation for solar energy, for example.
By the end of 2011, experts expect 17 gigawatts of electricity to come from photovoltaic systems. This roughly corresponds to the performance of 15 nuclear power stations. This quantity of power is very difficult to calculate, because the sun does not shine all the time. In addition, the grid cannot store any energy, but the energy providers must accept the additional power. This is putting the grid increasingly out of kilter. In the long run, only a grid which controls itself can guarantee the secure provision of wind, hydro-electric and solar energy. All this refers to the so-called smart grid, which is managed with the help of IT and telecommunications.
This in turn is based on the knowledge of how much electricity will be fed into the grid and taken from it, where and when. This includes both industry and private households. Consumers become producers, the share of renewable energies rises, and control of the energy network becomes a mental puzzle. Smart grids help us get on the right track. This transparency is being created by electronic meters and the evaluation of their data (smart metering). To integrate households with their mini-thermal power stations and dishwashers into the smart grid, they will need a control logic called "smart home".
Telekom is a partner of the energy industry. The target groups are energy providers, meter operators and housing associations. The Group installs electric meters and central communication boxes. It reads, transfers and processes consumer data. So Telekom offers infrastructure and software for the business processes of the energy sector as cloud computing. Consequently, the entire ICT support for these processes, with more than 1,600 individual modules, comes from the cloud. The focus with Smart Home is on upgrading the communications box to make it the center of the automated household: for energy-saving and greater convenience.
In T-City Friedrichshafen, the future is already a reality. Many families are testing innovative applications from Telekom in their everyday lives. Experiences from pilot projects show that this helps to identify power guzzlers and saves users up to 15 percent on their electricity bills. As a result, the environment, industry and end consumers benefit from "smarter" ICT.
At the start of 2011, Deutsche Telekom introduced numerous new smart-metering solutions for energy providers, meter operators and housing associations. For example, software that companies can use to import consumers’ smart-metering data directly into their SAP systems.