Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Dubai reveals smart meter roll-out plans as it prepares to host World Expo 2020

Steve Rogerson
July 28, 2015
The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is installing 200,000 smart meters, which will be operational in January 2016. Subsequently, more than one million smart meters will be installed by 2020 covering all Dubai, and replacing all mechanical and electromechanical meters.
This is one of three smart city projects DEWA has introduced to help Dubai prepare to host the World Expo in 2020. The authority says it has robust plans to raise the productivity and further enhance electricity and water transmission and distribution networks for the next ten years.
These plans are updated every year according to the data and anticipations of future demand and consumption and in line with the development plans set by the government of Dubai. It is also based on data and information from developers and the business sector.
All governmental entities and organisations are working to implement the Smart Dubai initiative announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, aiming at transforming Dubai into the smartest city in the world within three years. The initiative has six key pillars and 100 initiatives on transport, communications, infrastructure, electricity, economic services, urban planning. Under the strategy, 1000 government services will go smart in the next three years.
DEWA has launched three projects to support the Smart Dubai initiative. These are the Shams Dubai initiative to connect solar power to houses and buildings, Smart Applications initiative through smart meters and grids, and the Green Charger initiative to develop infrastructure and electric vehicles stations.
“Our objective in the transition to become the smartest city in the world is to achieve the happiness of society and provide instant and seamless smart services anytime, anywhere,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA. “Dubai has all the elements to reach top positions globally and has become a leading global hub for business, finance, tourism, green economy and sustainability. The smart grid will contribute to the infrastructure by connecting renewable sources of energy and promoting environmental initiatives supported by qualified staff thus building a sustainable future for Dubai.”
The smart meter initiative focuses on using smart applications through smart meters and grids, and provides many smart features and applications for customers. Smart meters will speed service connection, improve response times, provide instant reconnection of electricity, and rationalise consumption to enhance the happiness and well being of citizens and residents and to support resource sustainability.
“Our experience in implementing the smart grid strategy is unique because it is fully integrated,” said Al Tayer. “DEWA has developed the smart grid strategy which is a key component of a smart city. We have developed plans and programmes for demand side management, energy efficiency and operational improvement under the smart grid strategy. These programmes include advanced metering infrastructure, asset management, demand-side management, distribution automation, information technology infrastructure, substation automation, system integration, telecommunications, and efficiency, reliability and availability of energy supplies.”
The benefits of smart meters include providing automatic and detailed readings for consumers to monitor actual consumption for a specific period of time so they can understand and manage their bills. Smart meters help identify energy efficiency possibilities. They send readings automatically using communications media such as fibre optic cables and storing the entire history of all consumption indicators and customer-related operations. Additionally, smart meters will support renewable sources of energy in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors by comparing supplies from consumption and generation sides.
The smart meters project complements the smart grid project by DEWA to implement a number of technical features in electricity networks, using the latest scada systems, smart monitoring and control automation to provide electricity and water services to high standards of availability, efficiency and reliability. The smart meters initiative underlines the commitment of DEWA to promote sustainable development and strengthen Dubai’s position as a global hub for smart infrastructure.
“One of the most important factors for the success of smart cities is the seamlessness and availability of round-the-clock integrated and connected services that meet daily living requirements,” said Al Tayer. “In 2009, DEWA started its smart transformation. It was the first government organisation to achieve a 100 per cent smart transformation, less than a year after the Smart Dubai initiative was announced. Adoption of smart services was 62 per cent last year. DEWA’s smart app, which was launched in 2010, provides over 150 services and features that makes life easier for everyone, including people with special needs by enabling them to complete their transactions anytime, anywhere.”