Global collaboration to accelerate smart grid development


Guido Bartels,
Chair, GSGF
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — April 30, 2012 – The role of global collaboration in helping to accelerate the transformation to smart grid is the underlying theme of a new report from the Global Smart Grid Federation.

As the global grid evolves, there are unique and important opportunities for information sharing and collaboration, which will ensure that investments made serve the global society well into the future, according to the report.

The report, which was prepared for the Federation by Alex Bettencourt of SmartGrid Canada, presents updates on the smart grid activities of the member countries – Australia, Canada, Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Korea and the U.S.A.

Among the general findings are that at its simplest, the “smart grid” refers to a more efficient, modernized electrical grid. It allows users to manage their electrical demand or output in a way that is most cost effective for them and beneficial for the power system.

In each of the member countries, the smart grid forms a vital part of government strategy to achieve the common goals of energy security and low carbon economic growth. Further, this is at a time when utilities need to refresh and modernize their operating infrastructure.

Importantly the smart grid can be built, as the member country projects demonstrate. However, most of the projects are complex, incorporating multiple smart grid elements. But the most difficult challenge to a successful smart grid lies in winning consumer support, and this hinges on a radical change in thinking by utilities about their customers and by consumers about electricity. Without such support the smart could not exist or deliver on its promised benefits.

Nevertheless, governments are arguably best positioned to educate consumers on the value of the smart grid. Government can also be an effective mediator between the consumer and the power system.

“The report provides industry leaders with real world best practices that can be applied to their own projects”, said Guido Bartels, GSGF chairman. “(It) is a clear indication of the consumer and system benefits gained through global collaboration as we work to transform the world’s electricity systems.”