D1.1 Executive Summary

This deliverable (D1.1) is the proceedings of the first Mas2tering project workshop, namely “Business Convergence I Telecom/Grid Operator/Utility” which took place in Venice, Italy on 17 Oct 2014 and was hosted by Telecom Italia, ZigBee Alliance, and Energy@Home Association in the framework of “Smart Homes Day 2014.”

It was the first of a four-part series of strategically timed Mas2tering workshops designed to help facilitate smart grid stakeholder interaction, provide inputs to the project, and widen project outreach and impact while fostering the RTD activities of the work program. The four workshops, which operate under two revolving themes in order to accurately reflect the needs and evolution of the project as they develop, involve the participation of the Value-Driven Advisory Group (AG), and are overseen by Work Package (WP) 1 leader R2M Solution for consistency, knowledge/result integration, and management. The overarching goal of the Mas2tering workshop series is to facilitate conversations, collaboration, scientific publications and joint services between utilities, DSO and telecoms.

The present document briefly describes the objectives, organization, engagement and insights gathered while providing the AG bios, workshop agenda, keynote presentations, attendee analysis, project-level questionnaire overview, and workshop-level marketing brochure, as well as planned next steps and practical application suggestions for the base planning of Mas2tering’s second workshop, “Smart Grid Technologies and Use Cases I,” expected to be held in Brussels at the new GDF headquarters near September 2015 (M12).

The proceedings are structured whereby:

  • Section 1 provides some background to the workshop and outlines the objectives and organisation of the co-located event.
  • Sections 2 & 3 – describe the activities of the workshop and introduce the scientific and technical presentations.
  • Section 3 is the where key findings and discussions arising from the content, recommendations for future workshop iterations are proposed, and next steps are discussed.

The first Mas2tering workshop was a success in that insights were gained from experts on the topic area, AG engagement was kicked-off, and lessons were learned to be passed off to the planners of the next project workshop. The results achieved and information gathered during the workshop is of high value, and a step forward towards securing key information necessary to the project’s success.  Stakeholders in the topic area of the Mas2tering project were broadly represented, and their opinions and suggestions together with answers to specific questions were obtained and will continue to be solicited throughout the project.

Highlights of the workshop include:

  • The inaugural public event of the project;
  • Dissemination of project key messages
  • Value-Driven Advisory Group participation
  • Stakeholder engagement with top European DSO
  • Leveraging partner networks and resources
  • Knowledge transfer and strategic networking

D1.1 Table of Contents

  • Executive summary
  • Table of Contents
  • List of figures and/or list of tables
  • Abbreviations
  • 1     Introduction
  • 1.1     Leadership
  • 1.2     Scope and context
  • 1.3     Planning methodology and approach
  • 1.4     Workshop objectives
  • 2     Workshop conduct
  • 2.1     Engagement overview
  • 2.2     Keynotes
  • 2.3     Attendance
  • 3     Results achieved
  • 3.1     Insights gathered
  • 3.2     Questionnaire series
  • 3.2.1     Methodology
  • 3.2.2     Analysis
  • 3.2.3     First field-test
  • 3.2.4     Sneak peak of results
  • 4     Conclusion
  • 4.1     Practical lessons learned
  • 4.2     Final remarks
  • References
  • Annex A     Keynote presentations
  • A.1     Sylvain Robert, CEA
  • A.2     Steven Davy, TSSG
  • A.3     Adrien Becue, CSS
  • A.4     Zülküf Genç
  • Annex B     Attendees
  • Annex C     Brochure content
  • Annex D     Agendas
  • D.1     Smart Home Day agenda
  • D.2     Mas2tering workshop agenda
  • Annex E     Venue
  • Annex F     Initial Mas2tering “Business Convergence” questionnaire content
  • F.1     Introduction and Demographics sections
  • F.2     First section: Business Convergence (Used at Ws1)
  • F.3     Second section: Energy flows inside the home & focus on Home Area Networks (HANs)
  • F.4     Third section: Low Voltage energy flows up to the home & focus on last mile connectivity
  • F.5     Fourth section: Comparative Analysis
  • F.6     Final section: Best Practices

D1.1 Highlights

Here is a brief description of the guiding principles that drove the planning, execution, and reporting of the Mas2tering “Business Convergence I – Telecom, Grid Operator, Utility” Ws:


From a macro perspective –

The founding objective of the first Ws not just to convene with stakeholders of the project, but also to involve them in the foreground development through interactive discussions and bilateral knowledge transfer about their best practices, challenges, and opportunities in smart grid business collaboration. Also, a peripheral purpose of the workshop was to gather key thought leaders in order to identify possible high-level requirements at project level for ICT component development and at market level for post-project exploitation and wide uptake of technological components developed. The resulting business models will propose scalable and replicable actions based on value-chain matchmaking and cost-benefit analysis, with strong links to a critical mass of industrial stakeholders and experts for validation.

From a micro perspective –

To identify best practices and challenges in the European smart grid space with focus on the exploration of existing business models used by European industrials concerning smart grid products and services at HAN, district, and grid scales.  More specifically, to:

  • Present an introduction of the scope of the Mas2tering project to interested experts and smart grid stakeholders, and report on scientific progress already achieved by the project as well as relevant administrative issues, goals and overall structure of the three-year project
  • Promote awareness of the project concepts, work plan, and approach methodologies in order to disseminate and gather business focused inputs for demand-driven project design and identification of high-level technical requirements
  • Prepare the ground to facilitate cross-fertilization between research & industry by means of the sharing of information and new knowledge generation in order to integrate product and service development and valorisation of the collective intelligence within the project
  • Set up fruitful feedback loops by building rapport with attendees and panel members and informing them that their opinions are important and critical for the Mas2tering objectives to be attained Provide an opportunity for public and private sector to review and discuss evidence on the use and impact of project activities;
  • Associate the final project beneficiaries (End-Users, Utilities, and Telecoms) in the RTD while feeding into broader smart grid communities and standards bodies highlighting key points of business-related convergences and divergences in process and understanding;
  • Engage expert stakeholders in the further development of objectives and strategies, with a view towards obtaining feedback, challenges and advice to aid the direction taken in completing the work program;
  • Communicate current state-of-the-art smart grid approaches, including techniques being developed and demonstrated under the Mas2tering project and other relevant technologies for the formulation and co-design of new products, services, research programs, training, organisation, continuous learning, exchange of experiences and knowledge management tools.
  • Field-test the questionnaire format, content, and practices with targeted stakeholders of the project who were in attendance at the joint-workshop.

First MAS2TERING Workshop Advisory Group Panelists Short Bios and Expected Value-add to Mas2tering:

Name, Role, and Organization Short biography Expected value to Mas2tering
Edi Fabbro, Innovation and Technology Broker, Formerly of Electrolux From 1983 to 1986 he worked at Siemens as responsible for the field service of medical equipment and x-ray diagnostic devices in the eastern Italy. In 1987 he joined Electrolux and ultimately became their Innovative Projects Manager. He has recently decided to leave Electrolux to pursue a consultancy career to provide value-added services to SMEs in the field of product innovation also in collaboration with a well-established network of scientists, experts and engineers from leading research institutes, universities and companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Provide perspectives that the developed hardware and software solutions are highly relevant to the evolving needs of end-users and final consumers.
Jason Simpson, CEO, Mobile Energy Association Started his career in Strategy Consulting having benefited from a broad education in Management and International Relations. Until recently Jason led Carrier Services and Procurement for the Monaco & Islands region of Cable & Wireless Communications. Jason recently launched a new cross-sector industry association, the Mobile Energy Association, bringing together Mobile Operators, Utilities, Renewable Energy providers and NGOs across the world to make energy more efficient and accessible to everyone. Provide perspectives that the combined product and service offerings proposed by Mas2tering are in tandem with the technical developments.
Luca Di Stefano, Automation and Management engineer, Enel Distribution Product Manager who coordinates the development of End Users interfaces and technologies for Energy Efficiency and active demand. During his experience in Enel, he has collaborated in ADVANCED European project and he stands in the standardization group of Energy@Home. Provide perspectives of requirements from DSO perspective.

Insights Gathered:

Recommendations and observations at the workshop were heavily focused towards assessing strategies for how the Use Cases and business cases development under the Mas2tering project can successfully propose and facilitate significant European smart grid cost-benefit improvements.

Discussions provided insights relevant to the project and helped attendees garner a unified understanding of the economic, consumer, and electrical system impacts of smart grid efforts and ICT bilateral communications with the European DSO at HAN, district, and grid scales.

Several important themes emerged, especially concerning the utilization of innovative products and third-party facilitators at HAN and district level, with the “Aggregator Role” case study in France being of particular interest. Presentations and interactions moved beyond the general smart grid trends and broad scope cost-benefit analysis towards the next generation of European supply/value chain analysis.  The business-focused research lines, themes, and talking points of focus at the first Mas2tering workshop can be summarized as follows:

  • The role of European DSOs is moving from network operation and maintenance towards becoming the “Gateways” of many energy retail markets. Innovative new business and data models of value and success emerge as the age of unbundling ramps up and market facilitation services increase. Utilities are identifying new ways to measure and define benefits and to evaluate project success, and rebrand themselves inspiring higher customer loyalty metrics. In parallel, the need to measure and encourage consumer awareness and participation is rapidly increasing as demand response, distributed energy resources (DER), and micro-grid decentralization become common practice among pro-sumers. Utilities are finding that smart meter deployment, and the capabilities and reliability that smart grid systems enable, are increasing customer satisfaction and enabling economic growth. Additionally, some communities have found that a modern grid enables broader economic benefits.
  • Technology integration and testing validation both within Consortium competencies and wider networks. With new smart grid technologies, utilities are finding themselves in the role of technology integrator and manager of an “ecosystem” of new vendors. To successfully overcome these challenges requires enterprise-wide changes in business processes, which themselves should be mapped, communicated, coordinated, and implemented according to an articulated project management plan. The role of the utility is also extending to that of managing an ecosystem of technology vendors whose innovative products are key to project success.
  • Third-party aggregator role – case study in France. With several French partners within the consortium, it has been pointed out that the new policy surrounding the Aggregator role in France provides the founding principles of an important building block for project business and technical modeling as well as scaling and replication purposes. Resources are now being committed within appropriate WPs in order to maximize the existing knowledge and diffusing it into project foreground accordingly. This interests the Mas2tering RTD activities because the DSO role of Third Party Access services for suppliers is one that brings about functional business process improvements.
  • Investment requests must carefully draw out multi-layered approaches. Regarding funding, the need for investment in SMEs, associations, action clusters, and the likes was acknowledged. It was noted that different types of SMEs have different needs. For example, ICT enterprises require low investment, whereas SMEs that work with materials usually require larger investment, which makes it more difficult to obtain funding. These SME have difficulty in accessing capital to develop projects, because venture capitalists do not want to finance big investments. Therefore, there is a need to find mechanisms to fund these initiatives at each level of smart grid infrastructure.
  • Success for Mas2tering requires a strategy for consultancy-style change management. Change management is becoming a priority for utilities modernizing their infrastructure to include telecoms in their business models. The technical, social, and economic context of doing business is in flux and requires organizational changes in response. Mas2tering will be developing innovative models that must preempt, react to, and provoke the changing macro and micro-economic specificities and lack of regional policy uniformity. Specific issues that were identified include breaking through “silos,” an increasing need for staff training and development, changing customer engagement methods, upgrading data management systems (DMS), and improving vendor management. As with any successful transition, smart grid business convergence calls for a well-articulated vision led by champions of change at all levels of the organization, and engaged allies in regulatory and consumer communities. To contribute to this topic area, Mas2tering will help identify what metering technologies need to be developed or might be available in the future which would satisfy stakeholder requirements.
  • End-users require diverse solutions and fruitful dialogue with energy suppliers. The diversity of consumer energy needs and preferences is widely recognized. Utilities are implementing diverse systems for customization of electricity offerings—from a range of pricing programs to varied platforms through which consumers and ‘pro-sumers’ can manage their energy consumption and production. Mas2tering is helping by designing outreach programs and technological solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of different groups in the smart grid space. For example, seniors and low-income customers are two customer segments that often have the most to gain from energy savings but can also be challenging to reach. Utilities are innovating new means to cultivate participation by these groups.
  • Mas2tering should prioritize consistent consumer consensus and engagement. Participants emphasized the importance of working with customers, community leaders, and regulators early in the project deployment process. High-quality engagement served to familiarize stakeholders with the rationale, benefits, and user-experience of smart grids. Through the AG interaction, Mas2tering will engage product designers and applicable business departments from smart grid stakeholder segments, especially utility providers and telecoms whose cooperation must align in ways that facilitate closer interaction in targeted cases. Involvement of stakeholders, including end-users, plays an increasingly major role in product development for the smart grid sector and collective actors involved.
  • Successful projects measure and effectively communicate benefits to consumers and positively impact public opinion. Smart grids bring a wide range of system impacts, which translate into both tangible and intangible benefits to consumers. Successful projects track both of these and communicate them to consumers and other stakeholders. For example, increased system reliability, increased convenience and choice, the avoidance of new power plant construction, increased economic development and business convergence, and avoided cost increases are all benefits that are important to communicate but are not always easy to track. Communicating these benefits through key impact data and illustrative stories are both useful and necessary. Mas2tering will be stress testing and communicating a clearly explained and profitable strategy for several stakeholder segments including the relational limitations and challenges both from business and technical perspectives in order to properly identify user cases and inputs for software and hardware engineering design.
  • Cross-functional technologies require organizational changes. Utilities are realizing that smart grid implementation often requires organizational structure changes. Smart grid technologies interface with multiple departments within a utility, requiring strategic changes to functional processes – all of which are affected within a cost-benefit analysis and therefore important to consider within Mas2tering RTD. Customer service personnel need to understand outage-management implications of smart grids. Linemen need to understand in-home devices. Executive-level personnel need to understand smart grid activities at all levels. Utilities are grappling with how to best restructure the organization to handle the cross cutting nature of smart grid technologies and are re-designing their organizational structures, staff training, and human resource management protocols. Mas2tering will acknowledge the benefits and pitfalls of metering products independently produced within the scrutiny of European regulatory policies in order to achieve standardized mass-market uptake and achieve the trust of the stakeholders, end-users, and general public. The end goal is to incorporate flexible, adaptable, and secure monitoring programs to support decision-making and to respond to future changes in monitoring requirements/technology developments.
  • Enterprise-wide engagement. Related to the point above, employees at all levels have a role to play in smart grid project success, both internally as well as externally. Executive support and involvement is a key factor to program success, and various methods for top-level involvement were shared. For example, one recommendation was to establish executive steering committees to demonstrate high-level support for grid business convergence impact on the utilities operations across all departments. Various participants described providing factsheets to personnel on investment/operational details as well as FAQs on common concerns to prepare them to explain programs to customers.

Together, all of these themes point to a dramatic transformation in progress, and as observed during the workshop, the effects can be far reaching. The usable knowledge is salient, legitimate, and credible and broadens the sustainability potential of recognized outcomes derived from the project. Managing this transformation is a central challenge to utilities and telecoms, and the Mas2tering project recognizes the importance of coming together to discuss these challenges and propose profitable new collaborative business and ICT data models: Through constructive dialogue, solutions can be highlighted and possible pitfalls avoided while contributing to the base of exploitable results achieved.

There were interesting discussions surrounding balancing services, demand side management and micro-grid operations. Each business model/case and their individual technology architecture were evaluated with respect to expected costs and revenue. Results suggest that in the modelled reference scenario, there are profitable business cases and also cases that are not yet profitable under current conditions. Some of the standout investments with positive returns that were discussed and agreed to be of interest to the workshop conveners include, but were not limited to:

  • AMI/smart meters
  • Conservation voltage reduction
  • DA, Volt/VAR applications
  • Customer engagement (demand response, pricing)

D1.1 Conclusion

Ws1 disseminated preliminary business-feedback on project’s targets, and gathered inputs to high-level functional requirements definition. Emphasis was on interactive discussions and participatory activities highlighting the scientific-technical topics with administrative issues kept to the necessary minimum.

The workshop was successful in bringing key external stakeholders together with the project partners and sparking an interactive debate about the project’s main outcomes to date. In general terms, it can be stated that the external participants were genuinely interested about the promised results of the project and to share their view and feedbacks on how to maximize the impact of the outcomes.

The workshop provided:

  • An intensification of existing project foreground
  • Networking activities among the researchers
  • Stimulation of discussions and exchange of information, leading to the creation and exploitation of new synergies, and possibly the formation of new partnerships.
  • A catalyst for the formation of a “think tank” for future action in the field of research on European smart grids

Moreover, the workshop provided a very good learning experience, and a fruitful exchange of ideas from which some suggestions and recommendations were drawn and reformulated through smart grid stakeholder interaction. Preliminary business-feedback was gathered and considered, and inputs were collected to facilitate high-level functional requirements definition. The results of the workshop identified prioritized correlations between the technical work packages (2,3,4,5,6) and business-related project work packages (1,7) be summarized in the following three outcomes:

  • The exploitation of new innovative technologies and third party aggregator-types are an appropriate place to discuss, explore, and ultimately invest in experimental business model concepts. The organization of the Mas2tering workshop series opens new possibilities for expanding the network of stakeholders, field-testing technological developments and peer-reviewing foreground across its lifecycle, and for refining technical and developmental requirements through deliberate community engagement.
  • The three main layers of the European smart grid business landscape with the most potential for new joint services between telecom and utilities are focused on the DSO connection at HAN, District, and Grid scales. Realistic business cases and data-driven model recommendations are explored and conceived through the Mas2tering workshop series, and the stakeholder network is populated with early testers, peer-to-peer opportunities, and strategic networking alliances.
  • Policy, standards, and regulation modelling are integral to the success of Mas2tering’s ability to propose financial savings across several stakeholder segments using technological systems development, knowledge transfer, and end-user/consumer engagement integration activities. Nationally, regionally, and pan-European best practice positioning for deployment of “Next Generation Smart Grid Services,” requires thorough inter-disciplinary cooperation.

The workshop has formed a successful platform for all participants to get acquainted, and to learn of one another’s expertise, qualification and activities. Contacts were formed with the ADVANCED (FP7) project, and the cross cutting potential is being explored further in order to maximize resources and facilitate knowledge transfer.  Attendees were given the opportunity to receive a panorama view of current activities in Europe, both financed by the EU and by the private sector, with a wide range of smart grid products and services best practices discussed. The workshop series fosters communication of the Mas2tering project research goals and results to industrials and other interested parties by reviewing current knowledge gaps and investment opportunities, effectively stimulating the actions of how to address them for EUs scientific, technical, and socio-economic growth.

In accordance with the DoW, the next and final edition of the “Business Convergence” Mas2tering Workshop, the third edition of the four-part while the second Mas2tering workshop will likely be held in Brussels near the M12 position of the project, hosted by GDF and overseen by R2M for consistency. The expected outputs include continued project dissemination and interaction with European smart grid stakeholders and Use Cases refinement, and the title is “Smart grid technologies and use cases I.”  Workshop 3 (M24) and 4 (M33) follow the same thematic as their predecessors respectively, reiterated and collectively serving to provide focused dissemination activities both achieved and expected while stimulating feedback for external reviews towards leveraging foreground for eventual market uptake and commercialization.

The collective findings from the first Mas2tering workshop have drawn up a formidable agenda for action but say little about ways and means. The implication and expectation is that conveners will have been motivated by the event so as to take up the themes most appropriate to their sphere(s), and create developed and documented plans of action which may benefit them and greater European socio-economic standings. Hopefully, as such, the event facilitated the uncovering of issues and connection of contacts necessary to form partnerships worthy of taking the action plans forward to the market.

Finally, it was agreed that the workshop attendees be kept informed and updated in order to make them better acquainted with the development of the project activities and to get them more involved and responsive towards the project consortium. The Mas2tering partners are committed to maintain a regular and interactive dialogue with targeted stakeholders on relevant issues in a digestible and accessible format that resonates with regard to content and delivery mechanisms. It is clear that such a dialogue requires a continued effort from the partners, in particular by closely interacting with other key European projects and activities focusing on the wide reach, deployment, security and interoperability of smart grid services impact across Europe.

The information presented in this report and the data gathered from the full workshop series will be appropriately and objectively analyzed for synthesis and adaptation into to the diverse perspectives, needs, and goals of the project and individual WPs (especially WP1, WP2, and WP7) driven by the forecasted exploitable results expectations of the Mas2tering consortium, the Commission, and larger EU society as a whole.

D1.1 Download Link & More Info


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