Europe is committed to the 20-20-20 targets to reduce carbon emissions and to secure energy supply. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are seen as key to reach this goal. Both measures call for changes in our energy supply system leading to smart grids as key enablers for the required innovation. To promote this transformation the European Commission has taken a number of actions including a mandate on standardization.
Standardization of smart grids is not “business as usual”. The huge number of stakeholders, the necessary speed, the many international activities and the still changing solutions make it a difficult task for the European Standardization Organizations (ESOs).
For this reason, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI formed a Joint Working Group on standards for smart grids, which has been open to all interested European associations, national standardization organizations as well as interested Technical Committees and which worked between July 2010 and March 2011 on a report investigating the status of smart grids standardization in Europe. Its present version of the report focuses on the smart electricity grid, keeping it aligned with the scope of the European Commission’s Smart Grids Task Force Expert Groups 1, 2 and 3.
Report’s High level recommendations:
• Use a top down approach
The different applications to be deployed over time need to fit together. This can only be assured by strong coordination.
• Build up a flexible framework of standards
Market business models, players and technical solutions are still changing. A flexible model or architecture must be available to map services and use cases.
• Agree on a European set of use cases
Establish a single repository of use cases to systematically identify existing and future standardization needs.
• Align with international standards
Cooperate with international and relevant national smart grid standardization activities. Base European standards on existing international standards and promote European results to the international level.
• Don’t reinvent the wheel
Reuse existing mature standards whenever appropriate.
• Adapt the organization and processes for standardization
Smart grids are a system issue rather than a product issue. The CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Joint Working Group will promote this approach in close collaboration and cooperation with the existing TCs and structures.
The report is to be formally approved by the Joint Presidents Group of CEN, CENELEC and ETSI on 4 May 2011 after which it will be made publically available from the ESO’s web-sites (ie. here via http://www.cen.eu/).
During the final phase of the report’s production, the Commission issued a standardization mandate M/490 on smart grid standardization ( available here via http://ec.europa.eu/ ).
The Mandate requests work on the following deliverables:
1. A technical reference architecture, which will represent the functional information data flows between the main domains and integrate many systems and subsystems architectures.
2. A set of consistent standards, which will support the information exchange (communication protocols and data models) and the integration of all users into the electric system operation.
3. Sustainable standardization processes and collaborative tools to enable stakeholder interactions, to improve the two above and adapt them to new requirements based on gap analysis, while ensuring the fit to high level system constraints such as interoperability, security, and privacy, etc.
The ESOs are building on the information that is gathered in the above report in order to meet the challenging time table in the Mandate.
In terms of organizational approaches, the stakeholders represented in the CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Joint Working Group will continue their work as a Smart Grids Coordination Group. Sub-groups are created to address the main strands from M/490: on sustainable processes (including use cases), on architecture, on first set of standards and on smart grid information security (the latter subject to confirmation at the SG-CG kick-off meeting on 1 July 2011). These sub-groups will be flexibly operated and be open to direct participation from volunteer experts; (the main criterion for participation is their willingness to actively contribute, from an European perspective, to the work in the sub-groups).
The SG-CG will:
• manage the work process concerning the smart grid mandate,
• clarify non-technical questions to avoid unnecessary discussions in technical groups,
• provide comments and recommendations related to smart grid standardization issues, covered by the mandate M/490, and
• make proposals for the allocation of work on the proposed European Standards and other consensus based deliverables covered by the mandate M/490.
The SG-CG will not develop standards itself. Where a report produced under the Group’s structure is considered to require the status of a formal ESO deliverable, the Group will hand over the report to the most suitable ESO who will organize the formal progression of the report towards a formal ESO deliverable, following its own processes.
The SG-CG has been created until end 2012 when it will be decided on its continuation.
Luc Van den Berghe – Secretary of CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Joint Working Group on standards for smart grids