Danish companies ready for growth opportunity following government smart meter decision
Skanderborg, Denmark, 23 September 2013 – Last week, Martin Lidegaard, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, announced an Act requiring utilities to install smart meters in all Danish households.
Since 2011, a group of companies, universities and the Danish energy sector, have been collaborating on iPower, a project to develop solutions for the future intelligent energy system. As a result, Danish companies are now ready to act on the potential that this political decision offers.
“Research into consumer behaviour shows that a standard household might actually save up to 15% of their energy consumption if they could see their consumption in a simple and manageable way. The effect is maximised if an intelligent meter is combined with relevant advice and support,” explains Morten Lunde, Consultant at the Danish Technological Institute.
In the light of this research, a range of companies, including Saseco, Develco Products and Kamstrup, have chosen to collaborate with the Technical University of Denmark and the Danish Technological Institute in developing products and services targeted at private consumers.
John Haar, Managing Director at Saseco, says: “Saseco has developed a web-based solution which shows the household’s energy consumption in a web browser. By combining our solution with a smart meter, we can help consumers understand their energy consumption. Most consumers use some electricity unnecessarily. This could be reduced if they are made aware of it, which is possible with our solution”.
Saseco is a start-up company in the cluster around Aarhus University and their expectations are clear: “We trust that the new act will allow Saseco to grow. We have the technology ready for use. Now that every household in Denmark will have a smart meter, the utility companies can offer our solution to consumers. The result will be cost savings as high as 15% on the electricity consumption which will benefit the individual as well as our society and climate”.
In iPower, Saseco is collaborating with two other Danish companies – Kamstrup and Develco Products. Together, the three companies have developed a number of products enabling solutions tailored to the individual consumer’s needs.
Develco Products based in Aarhus offers wireless components for building automation, i.e. power meters, sensors, thermometers and internet gateways. Poul Eriksen, Vice President of Sales and Technology at Develco Products, elaborates: “Our products enable exact measurement and control of energy consumption in a building. Our components integrate with Sasecos’ web solution so the consumer may receive information about energy consumption, temperatures, etc. This way the more demanding consumers may get a more accurate system to monitor their consumption. Furthermore, this solution enables demand response applications, for example by shifting the consumption to periods with a surplus of wind energy. With the continuous expansion of wind energy, society needs to have a certain amount of flexible energy consumption in order to match the energy production of the wind turbines”.
Kamstrup A/S is also a partner in the iPower consortium. Smart Grid Product Manager, Henrik Bæk Jørgensen, states: “Kamstrup smart meters and our underlying infrastructure are designed to be the foundation of the utilities’ intelligent grid. This means for example that you will be able to install a Develco ZigBee® module in a Kamstrup meter which then will interact with products developed by Develco and Saseco. Kamstrup also provides an app for smartphones and tablets which the utilities could also offer to consumers”.
Consequently, the Danish energy industry is in a strong position to offer new solutions based on smart meters in every household. At the Technical University of Denmark, Rasmus Villefrance, Platform Manager of iPower, summarises the situation: “The minister probably had climate change in focus when proposing the act. However, at universities and in the industry we also see this as an opportunity to productise our research and innovation. In this way, we generate growth and jobs. These things go hand in hand”.