News Portals, Organizations & Initiatives Providing Support for Smart Grid/Prosumer Community/Smart City Empowerment:

As part of technology watch and stakeholder engagement activities of MAS2TERING (WP7), the following outlets have been influential to ongoing foreground development:

  • EDSO for Smart Grids

    EDSO gathers leading European distribution system operators (DSOs) for electricity, cooperating to bring smart grids from vision to reality in Europe and is focused on guiding EU RD&D, policy and member state regulation to support this development. Smart grids are a prerequisite to achieving the EU’s ambitious energy and climate objectives to 2020 and beyond – decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency and the strongest driver of all, increasing the share of renewable energy connected to our networks. EDSO and its members are committed to taking on this huge challenge, while at the same time ensuring the reliability of Europe’s electricity supply to consumers and enabling them to take a more active part in our energy system. EDSO is the key-interface between Europe’s DSOs and the European institutions, promoting the development and large-scale testing of smart grid models and technologies in real-life situations, new market designs and regulation. The EDSO brochure  and “Why smart grids?” section of their website lay out in more detail these challenges and the solutions that smart grids offer.

  • Smart Grid – Coordination Group (SG-CG):

    • In March 2011, the European Commission and EFTA issued the Smart Grid Mandate M/490 which was accepted by the three European Standards Organizations (ESOs), CEN, CENELEC and ETSI in June 2011. M/490 requests CEN, CENELEC and ETSI to develop a framework to enable ESOs to perform continuous standard enhancement and development in the smart grid field. In order to perform the requested work, the ESOs combined their strategic approach and established in July 2011, together with the relevant stakeholders, the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart Grid Coordination Group (SG-CG), being responsible for coordinating the ESOs reply to M/490. In 2012, the SG-CG worked intensively to produce the following reports: Sustainable Processes, First Set of Consistent Standards, Reference Architecture and on information security and data privacy. In addition, SG-CG produced a Framework Document which provides an overview of the activities. It describes how the different elements mentioned above fit together as to provide the consistent framework for smart grids, as requested by M/490.

  • European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC)

    • The is an initiative supported by the European Commission bringing together cities, industry, SMEs, banks, research and other smart city actors. It intends to: Improve citizens’ quality of life; Increase competitiveness of Europe’s industry and innovative SMEs; Make our cities more competitive and better places to live in; Share knowledge to prevent mistakes being repeated; Reach our energy and climate targets; and Support you in finding the right partners and solutions It’s about achieving social, environmental and economic sustainability for our cities. The EIP-SCC consists of the High Level Group (supported by its Sherpa Group) and the Market Place. The High Level group and its sherpas are responsible for the Strategic Implementation Plan. The EIP-SCC Market Place has been designed for those who are active in the challenging area of Smart Cities and willing to know more about ongoing and foreseen activities throughout Europe. End 2012, the Smart Grid Mandate M/490 was extended until end 2014. The objective of the extension is to allow the SG-CG to fine-tune the Smart Grid methodology developed in 2012 and to develop an extended set of standards supporting Smart Grid deployment in Europe.  End 2014, the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart Grid Coordination Group finalized several important documents on smart grid standardization.

  • ERA-NET-SmartGridsPlus

    • ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus is a network of Program Owners and Program Managers of national and regional funding programs in the field of research, technical development and demonstration. The core goal of this initiative is to build up a sustainable cooperation structure between national and regional Smart Grids programs in Europe as well as to enable the coordination with the relevant initiatives on a European Level. ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus intends to provide substantial contribution to the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan).  One of the major European challenges lies in creating a clean, secure and efficient energy system, while ensuring EU industrial leadership in low-carbon energy technologies. Accordingly, an upgrade of our energy networks – particularly the electricity network – towards a system of highly efficient, synergetic and flexible networks will be necessary matching current developments in production and consumption patterns as well as technologies. The main related challenges are: (1) enabling an increased flexibility of the power system to cope with the growing share of intermittent and decentralised renewable generation and managing the complex interactions; (2) increase network capacity to support increased flows resulting from renewables and the internal energy market; (3) provide information, services, market architectures and privacy guarantees to support open markets for energy products and services, whilst facilitating the active participation of customers. To meet these challenges cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary applied research, piloting and demonstration will be needed by a Europe-wide set of stakeholders. ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus (SG +) will further the integration of Smart Grids system technologies, stakeholder adoption and market processes to help Europe make progress towards achieving its short-term 2020, medium-term 2035 and long-term 2050 energy targets. For such progress cross sectoral and interdisciplinary system innovation is needed. ERA-Net SG + will promote applied research, piloting and demonstration in the field of smart grids, with a focus on validation, scaling-up and replication, integrating the layers “technology”, “marketplace” and “adoption”, aiming at pushing solutions meeting TRL 5-6 to TRL 6-7. The European Electricity Grids Initiative has over the last years successfully taken a leading role in developing European scale smart grid solutions, by bringing together key stakeholders and achieving critical mass. ERA-Net SG + will expand  this European initiative by enhancing synergies between national Smart Grids programs, creating a coherent collaboration network that can further serve the Smart Grids European Research Area Network and beyond.

  • Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF)

    • USEF was founded by seven key players, active across the smart energy industry, with a shared goal – one integrated smart energy system which benefits all stakeholders, from energy companies to consumers. USEF’s ongoing development is managed by the USEF Foundation, a dedicated core team tasked with coordinating expertise, projects and partners while safeguarding the integrity and objectives of USEF. USEF aligns the trading of consumer flexibility with existing wholesale market models. By extending key processes to include usage prognosis for individual consumers, USEF fits on top of current market models. If consumers are flexible about whether and when to use energy, they could reduce grid stress and their own energy bills. By buying and aggregating enough consumer flexibility to offer as solutions to grid operators and balance responsible parties, a central Aggregator could sell it on to be used for: reducing grid congestion, avoiding expensive grid upgrades, limiting any penalties for failing to balance supply and demand, avoiding buying energy when prices are high. To achieve this requires that there is a market for the exchange and settlement of flexible energy use. USEF delivers the market model for the trading and commoditization of energy flexibility, and the architecture, tools and rules to make it work effectively. By providing an international common standard for smart energy, USEF unifies markets and ensures that projects and technologies are connected at the lowest cost.

  • OpenADR Alliance

    • Demand Response (DR) programs help utilities maintain grid reliability and enable customers to realize significant value. Unfortunately, existing proprietary solutions add unnecessary cost and complexity. The OpenADR Alliance was created to standardize, automate and simplify DR to enable utilities to cost-effectively meet growing energy demand, and customers to control their energy future. Together we are creating the future of demand response today. Demand Response plays a vital role in grid stabilization during hot Summers, easing severely constrained electrical grids from coast-to-coast.  Future energy crises caused by electricity demand exceeding system capacity can be postponed or even averted through Demand Response.  The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (www.ferc.gov) defines DR as “changes in electric use by demand-side resources from their normal consumption patterns in response to changes in the price of electricity, or to incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized.”  The ability of DR to avert an energy crisis is so promising that one FERC Commissioner has identified DR as the “killer application” for the Smart Grid. Automated Demand Response or ADR helps system operators reduce the operating costs of DR programs while increasing DR resource reliability. For customers, ADR reduces the resources and effort required to achieve successful results from these DR programs.  Automation is what also makes it possible to translate changes in wholesale markets to corresponding changes in retail rates, enabling customers to respond to DR signals in real-time to reduce demand.  Successful implementation of ADR requires standardization allowing wholesale producers to communicate with utilities and aggregators, who in turn communicate with their customers, who can then reduce demand during peak periods.  Without an ADR standard, automated DR would be difficult and costly to implement.  System development, integration and installation costs could grow to prohibitive levels, and these proprietary and expensive assets could eventually become stranded.  Simply put:  Without a standard, it would be difficult for utilities to effectively implement this “killer application.” Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) is an open and standardized way for electricity providers and system operators to communicate DR signals with each other and with their customers using a common language over any existing IP-based communications network, such as the Internet.  As the most comprehensive standard for Automated Demand Response, OpenADR has achieved widespread support throughout the industry. The OpenADR Alliance was formed by industry stakeholders to foster the development, adoption and compliance of the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) Smart Grid standard utilizing existing standards from OASIS, UCA and NAESB.

  • Energy@Home Association

    • Energy@home is a no-profit association that, for the benefit of the environment, aims at developing & promoting technologies and services for energy efficiency in the home based upon device to device communication.​ Communication is an enabler of energy efficiency that is not yet enough exploited in our houses as several independent infrastructures and devices currently exist which do not interact at all (i.e. power grid, gas network, telecommunication, home automation, white goods). Energy@home envisages an holistic approach where the house is an ecosystem of connected and interacting appliances and sub-systems that coordinate themselves in order to optimize energy consumption, increase energy efficiency, and create new services for end customers. Devices should be turned into “smart” products that are connected to a network, aware of how they are being used, able to inform the user about their status, to react to utilities signal, and able to be controlled by end users anywhere-anytime via their smartphones. Technologies that enable development of new tools and services should be defined to help users to deal with energy micro-generation and consumption, to increase awareness, to empower and to educate consumers to a virtuous use of home appliances towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Such an eco-system can only be created through the genuine collaboration between stakeholders from  every type of industries, including energy, telecommunication, ICT, white goods, home appliances and more. Energy@home aims to provide a forum for such a collaboration in order to allow these stakeholders to meet, coordinate and create common visions and solutions. Openness is crucial to the success as well as the collaboration with other Associations and Institutions already working at EU-level to reach our same ambitious goal.

  • Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP)

    • SGIP is an industry consortium representing a cross-section of the energy ecosystem focusing on accelerating grid modernization and the energy Internet of Things through policy, education, and promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a sustainable energy future. Our members are utilities, vendors, investment institutions, industry associations, regulators, government entities, national labs, services providers and universities. A nonprofit organization, we drive change through a consensus process. The SGIP mission is to accelerate grid modernization and the energy Internet of things through education and the promotion of interoperability and standards to empower customers and enable a secure sustainable energy future.