Saturday, February 13, 2010

EU and NA Smart Grid development

During the BIG-EU WG-Technique meeting Monday, Prof. Dr. Peter Fischer (Fachhochschule Dortmund) delivered a brief review of the current status of Smart Grid development in Europe, an effort in which he appears to be quite active. I noticed some similarities to the North American and followed up with questions during the BIG-EU Executive Board & Advisory Council dinner Tuesday evening. The following is from memory, so any errors are probably mine.

The European effort started in advance of the American (or at least the NIST "Smart Grid Interoperability Panel," or SGIP), and though it has one difficulty not present in the American, the required coordination of many countries, it seemed to be similar in some aspects. He noted, for example, that the European effort started with 50 protocols though the number was reduced to 10 or so through a weeding process based on data rates, information throughput and other aspects. And the SGIP is starting out with roughly 90!

At some point, of course, the effort becomes political and I am minded of an SGIP colleague who said that in college he switched his studies from political science to technology because he didn't want to deal with "politics and bureaucracies." Oops -- all technical standards development seems to deal with "politics and bureaucracies."

Still, other elements of what I heard should be a concern to the SGIP. For example, the European effort reportedly started out with an aggressive schedule which subsequently had to be set back. (Details would help.)

Some European elements are different from the American: the European effort seems to be heavily centered on meters, for example: CENELEC/TC 13 for electric meters, CENELEC/TC 294 for non-electric meters including gas and water (buildings are under CENELEC/TC 205).

But Peter will supply his powerpoint slides and additional reference URLs on the European effort as addenda to the WG-Technique minutes. I look forward to seeing them.

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