Smart grid R&D roadmap released in Australia


Surrey Hills, Australia — (METERING.COM) — December 13, 2010 – A smart grid research and development roadmap for Australia has recently been released, setting out priority topics that will effectively and efficiently contribute to achieving a common vision of a successful smart grid implementation.

The roadmap, which was prepared Australia’s smart grid alliance Smart Grid Australia, is aimed at encouraging the development of a suitably matched pipeline of research linked to a smart grid rollout across Australia.

The R&D priorities are categorized under five areas, as follows:
A Governance and policy, including industry frameworks, aimed at understanding whole of industry performance and impacts from endogenous (including policy and regulations) and exogenous factors (including shock events or climate change, etc):
A1 Policy and regulatory settings
A2 Pre-standardization R&D
A3 Large systems simulation
A4 Demonstration projects, both small and large scale.

B Operational technologies and systems, to develop technologies and models that inform real-time or at least market-time management of a functioning electricity grid:
B1 Control systems
B2 Grid security and stability
B3 Fault detection and prediction
B4 Data and communication
B5 Demand management
B6 Self-healing grids
B7 Long distance energy supply.

C Informational technologies and systems, to develop technologies and models that support development of electricity grids or decision-making across the value chain:
C1 Carbon mitigation
C2 Grid-to-consumer
C3 Modeling and simulation, including mixed system modeling, socio-economic modeling and climate impacts and weather prediction
C4 Smart metering systems.

D End-use, to understand consumer and market behavior and requirements, and help them make responsible decisions:
D1 Customer behavior
D2 Model validation (3BL benefits)
D3 End-use technologies.

E Cross-sectoral integration, to integrate or harmonize smart grid or electricity infrastructure with those from other utilities and services:
E1 Sectors and utilities; communication, entertainment and other services
E2 Cross-system modeling.

Of these smart metering systems and consumer engagement (C4), control systems for networks (B1), grid security measures and systems (B2), and policy and regulatory settings (A1) are identified as having the highest impact.

The roadmap recommends that all smart grid demonstration projects in Australia, regardless of size, should have a strong R&D component, especially the topics identified above. Further, the smart grid perspective of different Australian stakeholders needs to be investigated in greater detail to identify their most urgent and appropriate issues.

In addition this roadmap needs to be assessed regularly, and a systems-based, objective way is needed to assess real progress in the Australian electricity industry and market compared with that in others.

The roadmap was prepared with input from representative stakeholders from industry, universities and the CSIRO, and also two workshops, an experts’ survey, and review of published literature.