Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Smart Grid update

- At the end of May the ZigBee Alliance and the European Smart Metering Industry Group (ESMIG) announced that they're working together to define interoperable communications standards for smart metering technology across the European Union (EU). The ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile is the first open standard to be endorsed by ESMIG.

The ZigBee Alliance is a group of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial and consumer applications. Members include ember, Emerson, Landis & Gyr, Philips, Samsung, Schneider Electric and Texas Instruments. ESMIG is the organisation for smart metering in Europe.

The two organisations will work together to identify where ZigBee Smart Energy can be rolled out across the 27 Member States. They will also evaluate ways to maximize the benefits of a standardised smart metering program for consumers, utility service providers (there are an estimated 2,000 electric, water and gas utility service providers in the EU) and the environment.

- Meanwhile, Intel last week hosted the first meeting to discuss the snappily titled IEEE 2030 Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS) and End-Use Applications and Loads (P2030)

The idea is that IEEE P2030 will leverage the IEEE's technical knowledge and open standards development process to come up with a knowledge base for understanding and defining smart grid interoperability between electric power system and end use applications and loads, integrating energy technology and ICT. (If you think that's long-winded you should see the press release).

As an indication of the importance, registration for personal attendance at the meeting was closed by May 4th because they had run out of room.

- According to an article in the Korea Times on Monday, South Korea has unveiled a plan to be the world's first country to have a smart grid (although it will be in competition with Malta, which, as we reported back in February has similar plans).

The article quotes the Ministry of Knowledge Economy's claim that the grid will generate a new market of 68 trillion won (about $54.5bn) and create 500,000 new jobs annually, and reduce the country's power consumption by 3% by the time it is completed in 2030 (Malta expects to be there by 2012).

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