What is ISGAN?
ISGAN is the short name for the International Energy Agency (IEA) Implementing Agreement for a Co-operative Programme on Smart Grids (ISGAN).
ISGAN creates a mechanism for multilateral government-to-government collaboration to advance the development and deployment of smarter electric grid technologies, practices, and systems. It aims to improve the understanding of smart grid technologies, practices, and systems and to promote adoption of related enabling government policies.
ISGAN was launched as the International Smart Grid Action Network at the first Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), a meeting of energy and environment ministers and stakeholders from 23 countries and the European Union held in Washington, D.C on July 19 and 20, 2010. The CEM focuses on high-level attention and commitment to concrete steps—both policies and programs—that accelerate the global transition to clean energy. The Ministerial was an outgrowth of the agreement at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) in L’Aquila, Italy in July 2009, where countries agreed to collaborate on advancing clean energy technologies.
ISGAN facilitates dynamic knowledge sharing, technical assistance, and project coordination, where appropriate. ISGAN participants report periodically on progress and projects to the Ministers of the Clean Energy Ministerial, in addition to satisfying all IEA Implementing Agreement reporting requirements. Membership in ISGAN is voluntary, and currently includes Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
Consistent with the IEA Framework for International Energy Technology Co-Operation, ISGAN is open to governments of IEA Member as well as non-Member countries, upon invitation of the ISGAN Executive Committee. Though the primary focus is on government-to-government cooperation, ISGAN is also open to entities designated by participating governments, and select private sector and industry associations and international organizations. To work as efficiently as possible, ISGAN will strive to establish collaboration strong cooperative ties with existing Smart Grid organizations.
ISGAN recognizes that robust, reliable, and smart electric grids play a key role in enabling greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions through the management of electricity demand, integration of growing supplies of both utility-scale and distributed, small-scale renewable energy systems, accommodation of an increasing number of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, improvement of operational efficiency, and application of energy efficient technologies to their full potential. Smart Grids also enable better utilization of existing electricity generation assets, thereby creating opportunities to forgo the addition of new long-lived, high emissions fossil fuel plants. In coordination with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others, ISGAN seeks to improve understanding of the potential for Smart Grid technologies to enable reductions in GHG emissions and energy use at country, regional, and global levels. It focuses high-level government attention on the promise of Smart Grid to achieve such reductions as well as the challenges to accelerating their deployment.
ISGAN’s vision is to accelerate progress on key aspects of smart grid policy, technology, and related standards through voluntary participation by governments in specific projects and programs. ISGAN will facilitate dynamic knowledge sharing, technical assistance, peer review and, where appropriate, project coordination among participants. ISGAN activities center on those aspects of the smart grid where governments have regulatory authority, expertise, convening power, or other leverage, focusing on five principal areas:
1. Policy standards and regulation, 2. Finance and business models, 3. Technology system development, 4. Workforce skills and knowledge, 5. Users and consumers engagement
Consistent with the IEA Framework, ISGAN will be open to governments (Contracting Parties) of IEA Member as well as non-Member countries. Though the primary focus is on government-to-government cooperation, ISGAN will also be open to entities designated by a government, Sponsors from the private sector, industry associations and international organizations. ISGAN will strive to establish collaboration with already existing bodies in order to work as efficiently as possible.