Multicriterial decision making: the smart metering case

Since smart grids impacts require new assessment approaches, this report aims at contributing on the debate about the evaluation of costs and benefits of smart grid projects. In particular, the evaluation approach which combines the Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) and the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is employed for evaluating a smart metering infrastructure case study.

The impacts generated by the smart metering infrastructure (or Advanced Metering Infrastructure, AMI) are evaluated by means of a tailored MC-CBA approach. In particular, the state of art in Italy of smart metering for low voltage consumers is presented and analysed. The aim of this document is twofold. Firstly, the proposed MC-CBA methodology is applied to a smart grid asset case study. Secondly, the assessment is made by means of a cross-platform which integrates the MCA approach and the ISGAN CBA toolkits. The decision-making problem of identifying the best AMI alternative is modeled as a hierarchical structure of evaluation criteria. Three different area of interest are investigated: economic effects, enhanced smartness of the grid, and externalities. The most suitable criteria are selected to obtain an effective assessment framework and avoid double counting. Firstly, the AMI case study is evaluated by means of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique. The same MCA approach has been applied by using the ELECTRE III technique and the ELECTRE III technique succeeding a fuzzy-scoring method. Finally, the obtained results are compared and the observed peculiarities of the used MCA techniques are described. In particular, the evolutive AMI alternative is always pointed out as the best. On one hand, the AHP appraisal seems to be suitable for preliminary decision-making analysis. On the other hand, the ELECTRE III method appears to be suitable for a deeper analysis of the decision-making problem.

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