Smart Grids and T&D industry in Europe facing regulatory and infrastructure challenges


Amsterdam, The Netherlands — (METERING.COM) — September 2, 2013 – The rapidly evolving power transmission and distribution system and the challenges of incorporating intermittent renewable power will come under the spotlight when thousands of smart grids and T&D experts gather at the upcoming European Utility Week in the Amsterdam RAI from October 15-17. 

“Energy utilities may well be amongst the biggest industrial polluters, but they also hold the keys to a clean, green future,” says European Utility Week conference producer Ed Butler. “The challenge of incorporating intermittent renewable power across distributed generation resources is proving a vast and costly challenge. Yet there is a realization this is a very necessary process to reducing our carbon footprint.

“Driving this revolution will be the utilities, which are coming to be seen as essential tools to achieving integrated, clean and reliable energy.”   

Evolution of microgrids
Presenting in the smart grids track at the event, Ernest Hayden, managing principal, Critical Infrastructure Protection/Cyber Security at Verizon, will address delegates on “Understanding the key security concerns surrounding microgrid implementation”.

Says Hayden: “Utilities and industry analysts see microgrids as a ‘new’ approach yet it is really a fairly mature concept. Most villages in the US state of Alaska are on microgrids in that they are not connected to any transmission or distribution system outside of their boundaries. Another example of a microgrid is a ship with its own self-contained power plant and distribution system. Hence, there are many lessons to be learned from these mature deployments that need to be included in the ‘new’ microgrid deployments.”

According to the Verizon expert, “through the excitement of implementing this technology many enterprises are bypassing the fundamental security requirements demanded by the growing increase in physical and cyber security attacks.” He explains: “There needs to be very secure controls – both physical and cyber – on how and when the microgrid connection circuit breaker is closed or opened. Uncontrolled operation of this circuit breaker can not only defeat the benefits of a microgrid but can also cause substantial damage and maybe even casualties.”  
Besides hearing the latest on microgrids, the T&D program offers a wealth of cutting edge product and knowledge sharing. More speaker highlights from the Smart T&D Infrastructures program include:

  • Rudolf Baumann, Chairman of the TSC Steering Committee, Swissgrid, Switzerland
  • Shinsuke Ito, Former Deputy Director, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
  • Martina Doppelhammer,  DG Climate Action, European Commission, Belgium
  • Andreas Thürig, Head of Product Management, ICG, Landis+Gyr, Switzerland
  • Katsutoshi Toda, Technology Executive, Toshiba Corporation, Japan
  • Andreas Bauer, VP New Technologies, RWE, Germany

European Utility Week will gather some 8,000 smart energy professionals at the Amsterdam RAI. Content of the conference will focus on all aspects of the utility business, from smart T&D infrastructures, renewable integration and storage, smart metering, ICT/data management, smart homes and end-user engagement.

European Utility Week will also feature an international exhibition with more than 350 solution providers.
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