Participants at a high-level meeting that took place on 11 May 2017 in Brussels, 'Interoperability to create the Internet of Energy', considered how Europe can benefit from the new opportunities offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) in the ongoing transition to clean energy. Representatives from the European Commission, academia, and energy companies discussed how, as energy production becomes more decentralised and buildings are increasingly equipped with new technology, smart homes and appliances can promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. The meeting was webstreamed.
The IoT is the concept of connecting buildings and devices – such as phones, lamps, washing machines and many more – to the internet, so that they can be controlled remotely. For example, someone with an IoT-enabled kettle can use a smartphone to set it to boil water before they arrive home. Many households in EU countries are already equipped with smart meters, which communicate with the energy grid and allow to track their energy usage in real time. Developing and using more smart devices will allow consumers to become more energy efficient and make better use of energy from renewable sources generated locally to them.
At the meeting, the discussion focused on improving interoperability – ensuring that smart meters and other domestic devices and systems that monitor energy usage are compatible with each other and local energy systems, and can share data with energy grids. The participants also considered the importance of user-friendly interfaces for devices and applications.