ITU introduces smart grid standards initiative


Les Brown, Lantiq 
Geneva, Switzerland — (METERING.COM) — May 14, 2010 – The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has established a new focus group to review and develop standards for the smart grid.

The new Focus Group on Smart Grid, which will be chaired by Les Brown from semiconductor solution provider for next generation networks and digital homes Lantiq, is aimed at providing a forum to bring together stakeholders in the smart grid.

The Group will survey existing national standards initiatives to see whether these can be adopted at an international level, and will also perform a gap analysis to identify new standardization requirements that will then be taken forward by the relevant ITU standardization sector (ITU-T) Study Groups. This exploratory phase will be relatively short before work starts on the development of the standards necessary to support the global rollout of smart grid technologies.

“Through this excellent initiative ITU is bringing all players together in an environment where they can create truly global specifications for the service-aware utilities network of tomorrow,” said Brown. “Smart grid is a dynamic addition to today’s energy networks, which will be capable of delivering customizable services on a massive scale. To ensure an efficient global rollout, global standards are a must.”

The initiative follows a request from CTOs from major ICT companies at a meeting in October 2009 to accelerate work in the area of smart grid. Agreement between a wider set of ITU members was reached at a January 2010 meeting of the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG).

The smart grid will consist of solutions based on both current and future telecommunication technologies for command and control, metering, and charging, and the new Focus Group will explore these requirements and corresponding standards needs. Further, the idea that smart grid principles could apply to the telecommunication system itself could be a topic for discussion.

In the field of smart grids, ITU experts have already agreed on specifications for smart grid products for home networks. These include a “low complexity” profile that will allow multiple manufacturers to develop products that deliver the low power consumption, low cost, performance, reliability, and security that is required for smart grid and other lower bit rate applications.

In January the ITU-T readied this standard for the smart grid (see home networking standard readied for smart grid). The standard is being promoted by the HomeGrid Forum, an independent body established for this purpose, and the Forum’s smart grid initiative group is helping to bring a range of devices to the smart grid market and home energy management applications.