News release - 2011

Joint transatlantic collaboration on Smart Grid Standards Development

Brussels, Belgium, 2011-09-12

Today, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the ‘CEN CENELEC ETSI’ Smart Grid – Coordination Group (SG-CG) jointly announced their intention to work together on Smart Grid standards, emphasizing common goals and areas of focus.

Smart Grids are next-generation electrical grids that attempt to predict and intelligently respond to the behavior and actions of all electric power users connected to it – suppliers, consumers and those that do both – in order to efficiently deliver reliable, economical and sustainable electricity services. The new collaboration is meant to ensure that Smart Grid standards on both continents have as much in common as possible, so that devices and systems that interact with these grids can be designed in similar fashion.
“While the potential benefits of Smart Grids are enormous, they can only be fully reached if we can all agree on global solutions,” says Ralph Sporer, Chairman of SG-CG. “It is promising to see that NIST and SG-CG will be supporting a number of common positions and areas of collaboration to ensure a consistent set of international standards.”
Both NIST and the ‘CEN CENELEC ETSI’ SG-CG have mandates to coordinate the development of a framework of standards for Smart Grids, which have potential as a catalyst for unlocking innovation in the electrical sector. Smart Grids are expected to ease the incorporation of renewable energy sources, energy saving devices and electric vehicles into the power system. Overall goals include the reduction of carbon emissions and security of supply. 
To promote this transformation, governments on both sides of the Atlantic have taken a number of actions in recent years, including the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on the U.S. side, and on the European one, within the framework of the 3rd Package for the Internal Energy Market; Directives 2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC. This vast legislative effort has translated into a number of standards initiatives like the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards in the US and a Smart Grid mandate in the EU.
The collaboration aims to harmonize these conceptual frameworks. It also will promote the regular exchange of information regarding such issues as:

• Legislation, regulation, and other policies underpinning NIST and SG-CG work
• Respective work methods, work programs and respective time lines
• Standardization deliverables
• Testing and certification frameworks
• Cybersecurity requirements and technologies
According to NIST’s George Arnold, the many facets of Smart Grid development – spanning multiple sectors of the economy and a wide range of stakeholders – make the standardization effort anything but business as usual, but that the collaboration will save effort in the long run.
“The need for integration of multiple technologies, the necessary speed, the many international activities and the ever-changing technical solutions make it a challenging task for standards organizations worldwide,” says George Arnold, the U.S.’s National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability. “But this collaboration should help make sure that no one reinvents the wheel.”

To view the full Press Release, please click here.


Ludovic Highman
Editorial Project Manager
Tel: +32 2 550 08 32