European standards organisations make progress towards Smart Grid standards

March 13, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The three European Standards Organisations (ESOs) – CEN (European Committee for Standardization), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) – are working together to develop standards for the Smart Grids. Their resolutions determine widely the shape of future technologies to be used for smart buildings - including the mechanisms for lighting control applications.

The ESOs have been tasked by the European Commission under standardisation mandate M/490 accepted in June 2011 to deliver a technical reference architecture to represent the functional information data flows between the main domains and integrate many system and subsystem architectures.

In addition, the organizations will provide a set of consistent standards to support the information exchange (communication protocols and data models) and the integration of all operators within the system. A third objective is to implement a sustainable standardization processes and provide collaborative tools to enable stakeholder interaction, while also ensuring interoperability, security and privacy. Furthermore, the ESOs have also been asked to investigate standards for information security and data privacy encompassing harmonised high level requirements as proposed by the European Commission's Smart Grid Task Force .

The European Commission's policy in this area is set out in the communication 'Smart Grids: from innovation to deployment' . According to the Commission, smart electricity grids should reduce CO2 emissions by 9% and household energy consumption by 10%. They will also facilitate the expansion of renewable energy including de-centralised micro-generation of electricity. Smart grids therefore have a crucial role to play in enabling the EU to reach the targets of its integrated energy and climate change policy , adopted in December 2008.

The ESOs have set up a Smart Grid Coordination Group (SG-CG) with four working groups focusing on the main elements of the mandate. In accordance with the calendar agreed with the European Commission, the SG-CG already produced in 2011 a list of standardisation gaps and associated priorities, as well as a programme for standardisation work.

Past week, a delegation from the SG-CG met in Brussels with EC officials and business representatives to present two further interim reports: on the proposed technical reference architecture for smart grids, and on sustainable standardisation processes. The report on 'Reference Architecture' describes in detail a conceptual model and general Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM),