Our thoughts this week are turning to Asia as three of us from the Metering & Smart Energy International team prepare to leave for Tokyo to attend Intl' Smart Grid Expo taking place 2-4 March, 2016, writes Rose Bundock, digital editor at Metering & Smart Energy International.
Japan stands on the brink of market liberalisation, first for electricity in April 2016 followed by gas the year after and it will be fascinating to see how the country’s story of deregulation plays out.
Incumbent utilities are revving up to take on new market entrants - with Tokyo Electric Power (the utility that runs Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant) predicting that competition to secure large power users will be “fierce”.
Price wars are expected and the former monopoly power companies estimate they can offer discount to residential customers aided by “our business partners entering the retail business shouldering some of the price reduction”, says TEPCO.
Today we report on Osaka-based utility Kansai Electric diverting some of the gas it imports to fuel fossil-fuel plants to resell to consumers, another way to retain market share.
The question is - will Japanese consumers embrace a new retail landscape? We'll report on this and other development's in Japan's smart energy market next week from Tokyo.
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In Latin America, Mexican state-owned electric utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) has awarded Landis+Gyr a contract to supply an AMI system. Under the terms of the agreement, Landis+Gyr will supply its Gridstream AMI solution, including RF mesh network and advanced meters in the states of Campeche and Quintana Roo in CFE's Peninsular Division.
Germany power utility E.ON this week partnered with global technology company Siemens to develop smart metering technology in Germany. Under the agreement, the pair will integrate their solutions to come up with a smart metering solution to be deployed at the beginning of this year.
In the UK, electric power utility Spark Energy last week partnered with property management company Orchard and Shipman to deploy an AMI system. Under the partnership, Spark Energy will implement a smart meter rollout project that will install 1,200 electric meters in residential properties managed by Orchard and Shipman in Selkirk, south-east Scotland.
IoT tech company Sierra Wireless last week announced that it entered into an agreement with communications equipment provider Sagemcom. Under the agreement, Sagemcom will use Sierra Wireless modules in its smart meters to be deployed by electricity utility Enexis in the Netherlands in 2018.