Taiwan promoting smart meters to cut peak electricity use

The government will be rolling out more advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) across Taiwan in an effort to improve power use efficiency, conserve energy, and reduce peak electricity consumption, Premier Lin Chuan said at a Cabinet meeting today.

After a briefing by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Premier Lin said AMI devices, or smart meters, will be essential for transforming the nation's energy structure. He hopes the ministry's comprehensive plan to install the devices for low-voltage residential customers will effectively curb peak energy use during summer months. Lin directed the MOEA to expedite the installation process and make sure it stays on schedule.

Installing smart meters for 3 million low-voltage customers will allow utility companies to track 80 percent of the nation's electricity usage, the premier said, which also presents opportunities for related industries and services. He asked the ministry to invest in preliminary research and pilot projects and to develop big data applications for energy usage.

According to the MOEA, the government finished installing AMI units for 240,000 high-voltage customers in 2013. Next year, the government will begin installing AMI units for 200,000 low-voltage household customers with the goal of having 1 million households equipped by 2020 and 3 million by 2024.

This plan, combined with another plan to lower off-peak electricity prices for households and small businesses, is expected to reduce the nation's peak load by 275,000 kilowatts per hour by 2021. In addition, the deployment of 3 million AMI units between 2017 and 2024 will generate an estimated NT$41.3 billion (US$1.3 billion) in production value, the ministry said.

Source: Executive Yuan