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Report RSE 17003297

Application of Multi-Criteria Analysis techniques MCA to the selection of SmartMetering Systems



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M. Troncia (Università degli Studi di Cagliari), G. Celli (Università degli Studi di Cagliari), I. Gianinoni (RSE SpA) , F. Pilo (Università degli Studi di Cagliari)

SMART-DSYS 2016 - Development and management of distribution networks

The report describes the activities, which are also carried out in the frame of Annex 3 “Benefit - Cost Analyses and toolkits” of the ISGAN international initiative, aimed at validating a new methodology that combines the advantages of Cost Benefit Analysis (“CBA”) with the ones of Multi-Criteria Analysis (“MCA”) for the evaluation of social and environmental benefits of smart grid applications. Three techniques have been applied to the evaluation of the different options for the deployment of the latest generation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (“AMI”) in Italy.

The main objective of this report is to verify the feasibility of multi-criteria techniques for the evaluationof smart grid applications by using a new methodology that combines the advantages of the CostBenefit Analysis (CBA) with the ones of the Multi-Criteria Analysis (“MCA”) in order to also considernon-monetary social and environmental benefits. The activities described are also carried out in the frame of the Italian participation in the ISGAN initiative (International Smart Grid Action Network), and in particular in the key project called “Annex 3: Benefit - Cost Analyses and toolkits”.

As a case study the Italian smart metering infrastructure (or Advanced Metering Infrastructure, AMI) has been selected. Two projects have been assessed: one project is based on keeping the current 1G AMI technology even after the planned substitution for end of life, the other one is based on the deployment of second generation AMI (2G) whenever it is necessary to substitute existing meters according to established plans.

In order to analyse the performances of the two options, which are built up by breaking down the evaluation process into a hierarchy of criteria and using a system of relative weights and indicators, three different MCA techniques have been tested: Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), ELECTRE III and ELECTRE III with Fuzzy scoring.

All tests have shown that the 2G technology is preferable over the 1G one if both have the same capital expenses (CAPEX), since its performance is better on almost all evaluation criteria. The robustness of the results has been investigated by means of a sensitivity analysis of the performance on the monetary criterion. From this study it has turned out that the ELECTRE III methodology is more suitable to provide a discrimination among the alternatives, thanks to the use of an interval scale for the indication of input data. On the other hand, the use of AHP has led to a clear decomposition of the decision problem; therefore AHP seems more suitable for preliminary studies.

After the present validation of the combined CBA-MCA methodology, the next objective will be its introduction into the CBA “toolkits” (software tools on Excel platform) developed in the frame of ISGAN Annex 3 for the calculation of costs, benefits and cash flows for various smart grid applications, in order to extend its validity to non-monetary social and environmental benefits.

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