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IEEE sees potential benefits in smart grid innovation

Posted: 07 Oct 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart grid  potential benefits  catalyst 

Experts at IEEE believe that smart grid faces innumerable obstacles but it has got lot of potential benefits. IEEE acts as a catalyst in advancing smart grid innovation and implementation.

"The smart grid is a profound transformation that will play out over the course of our lifetimes," stated James Prendergast, IEEE executive director. "The future is going to be very different from the past in terms of how we receive, use and distribute electricity, and the ripples from that fact will be felt across virtually every aspect of human life, as well as our environment.

Smart grid efforts are intensifying around the world, bringing together electrical, communications and information infrastructures. The magnitude of this effort is underscored by global investments of a tremendous scale. For example, Pike Research reported that cumulative smart grid investment will reach Rs.7.68 lakh crore ($171.3 billion) in the Asia Pacific by 2017 and Rs.3.60 lakh crore ($80.3 billion) in Europe by 2020. The United States is expected to see about Rs.2.69 lakh crore ($60 billion) invested in intelligent smart grid infrastructure by 2030, according to analysts at Innovation Observatory.

Meanwhile, different countries have varying priorities in smart grid implementation. Singapore aims to shift its reliance to more local 'green' sources of energy, while Brazil and China need greater transmission efficiency. India is dealing with electricity demand outpacing supply, and the European Union and the United States are challenged by fragmented regulatory systems and operations.

To address this complexity and the diverse demands across smart grid markets, globally relevant technology standards are necessary for interoperability. IEEE said it has a portfolio of more than 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development that span the technology spectrum. This includes more than 100 active standards or those in development specifically related to the smart grid. For example, IEEE 2030—IEEE Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS), End-Use Applications and Loads—was approved and published earlier this month. The organisations said it is the world's first system-of-systems, foundational standard created from the ground up to inform smart grid interconnection and interoperability.

IEEE works with major organisations around the world to collaborate on smart grid standards development. State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is a partner in multiple ongoing IEEE standards development efforts, including IEEE P2030.3—Standard for Test Procedures for Electric Energy Storage Equipment and Systems for Electric Power Systems Applications.

One example of how IEEE is fostering innovation is found within the ranks of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, where members are involved with deployment of phasor measurement units. The technology enables monitoring of key parameters in the power system to reveal its state and stability, aids grid control, and helps minimise the possibility of blackouts.

Members of IEEE technical societies are also creating roadmaps for evolutionary shifts to emerging and infant technologies. These ground breaking initiatives will result in peer-reviewed publications that illuminate where new research and standardisation projects are needed. IEEE Communications Society members are evaluating how to design and optimise smart grid data communications infrastructure, which is the true enabler for the intelligence in the grid and is necessary for supporting all smart grid applications, from generation to consumer participation. IEEE Control Systems Society volunteers, meanwhile, are assessing how control systems and policies must be designed to support smart grid applications such as enabling consumer choice in electricity usage, and the integration of renewables, storage and electric vehicles.

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