October 10, 2018


ISGAN Side Event at CEM9 – Policy Brief and Workshop Summary

Opportunities to Accelerate Smart Grid Deployment through Innovative Market Design - jointly organized with the Swedish Smart Grid Forum (23rd and 24th May - as part of the Nordic Clean Energy Week in Malmö and Copenhagen)

The purpose of this report is to present an overview of the results from the workshop and high-level panel discussion, “Intelligent market design – boosting global smart grid deployment,” organized by International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) and the Swedish Smart Grid Forum in conjunction with the 9th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), 24 May 2018 and as a part of the Nordic Clean Energy Week in Malmö and Copenhagen.
The report gives a summary of the discussions and conclusions from the workshop and includes the background policy brief prepared by representatives from the organizers based on relevant position papers and studies from, for example, ISGAN, IEA, and IRENA as well as individual feedback from ISGAN national experts and the Swedish Smart Grid Forum representatives. The final version presented here also includes input received during the workshop on May 23.


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October 8, 2018


ISGAN Annual Report 2017

Implementing Agreement for a Co-Operative Programme on Smart Grids. Annual Report 2017 for the period from March 1st 2017 to February 28th, 2018

Key Achievements in 2017

• Being a CEM initiative and IEA TCP, ISGAN continues to be a trusted partner and a center of expertise for
a growing number of Smart Grid-related activities and events, such as India Smart Grid Week and the
European Utility Week.
• A workshop on “Smart Grids Transitions – System Solutions and Consumer Behavior” and corresponding
conference and dialogue sessions on socio-economic framework conditions for the replication of Smart
Grid solutions were organized at the 8th International Sustainability Transition Conference Gothenburg,
Sweden, in June 2017.
• ISGAN has co-hosted several webinars with the Clean Energy Solutions Center and co-organized highly
recognized public workshops, such as “Building the Flexible Power Systems” in Genk, Belgium in September
2017, co-hosted by Belgium’s FPS Economy, SME, Self-Employed and Energy and EnergyVille, and
supported by the Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF).
• ISGAN’s Annex 2 conducted a successful knowledge transfer project (KTP) workshop during the 14th
meeting of the Executive Committee in Genk, Belgium, in September 2017. The hands-on workshop
caused a great interest among the ISGAN community and secured plans for future workshop editions (see
Highlight on page 15).
• In partnership with India’s Ministry of Power, Powergrid Corporation of India, Ltd, and Central Power Research
Institute, two ISGAN working groups organized a knowledge exchange event in Bangalore, India
in November 2017. The event brought together leading Indian and international participants from public
and private sectors as well as from academia. The experts exchanged best practices on catalyzing Smart
Grid developments in the area of local grids, especially focusing on the integration of distributed renewable
energy sources and deployment of microgrids.
• ISGAN’s working group on power transmission and distribution systems (Annex 6) supported knowledge
sharing on opportunities for more flexible electricity grids through its discussion papers on system efficiency
and a single marketplace for flexibility.
• ISGAN’s working group on cost-benefit analyses and toolkits (Annex 3) completed its assessment of cost
benefit analysis (CBA) applied to large-scale Smart Grids projects. It defined new metrics to properly
consider asymmetrically shared impacts and benefits and developed a new tool based on a combination of
multi-criteria analysis (MCA) and CBA.
• The ISGAN Academy (Annex8) has been launching new webinars on Smart Grids topics presented by leading
experts in the field every few months.


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June 15, 2018


System Efficiency

In the era of deployment of a smarter and more sustainable energy system, an overall perspective of system efficiency becomes increasingly important.

System efficiency is a multifaceted concept, which in the present document is broken down in the dimensions of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, energy and economic efficiency.
In order to improve the efficiency of a given system there are a number of available solutions at the disposal of policymakers and market actors. In this work, five action areas have been chosen and defined – multi-energy systems, electric storage, electric mobility, demand side management and automation & sensor technologies – and a review of activities and initiatives currently underway in several countries has been presented.
The efficiency measures and indicators identified in this report are key for bringing about the vision of an environmentally friendly and economically profitable electrical energy system, although some alternatives are not yet at a stage where they could be readily deployed in a systematic or widespread manner. In these cases and depending on the specific circumstances, regulatory policies and support measures can provide guidance and sustenance to overcome the uncertainties of future developments and promote potentially promising solutions.


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13 Jun 2018 @ 14:00 CEST

(check your local time)
Duration: 1h
The webinar offers a new approach to least-cost electrification planning, deciding down to each individual customer the best (least-cost) supply model, whether grid connection, distributed off-grid microgrids, or even a DC solar kit or an AC stand-alone solar system. By dealing with distributed electrification technologies, smart grid compatible off-grid technologies, demand management or digital utilities, in the context of developing countries, where 1.2 billion people still lack any electricity supply and around 500 million more suffer from a very low reliability and frequent blackouts, the savings offered by this comprehensive approach contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7, ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

 


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June 6, 2018


Factsheet on ISGAN’s Knowledge Transfer Project

This factsheet briefly describes ISGAN's approach to the knowledge transfer project, a platform for meaningful dialogue and capacity building to facilitate smart grid deployment.

Downloads:

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February 13, 2018


Webinar “Planning of Distribution Systems in the Era of Smart Grids”

Webinar of the ISGAN Academy “Planning of Distribution Systems in the Era of Smart Grids”, which will took place on February 14th, 2018.

The webinar deals with distribution planning in the era of smart grids. It is based on the CIGRE WG C6.19 activity. The main topics of the webinar are:

  • Role and objectives of distribution planning
  • Shortcomings of traditional planning in the current context
  • Distribution planning in the era of Smart Grids
    • Load and generation representation, flexibility
    • Probabilistic models for distribution planning
    • Multi objective optimization
    • Smart Grid in distribution planning
  • Multi-energy systems
  • Cyber-physical simulation
  • Example of application and case studies

Watch the webinar or find out more at Leonardo Energy.


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December 21, 2017


Spotlight on customer engagement and empowerment

The Case Book includes 10 cases on Consumer Engagement & Empowerment of the top 10 winning projects from the 1st ISGAN Awards Competition. Countries that are included in the CaseBook are Belgium, Denmark, France, Japan, Portugal, Netherlands, and USA.  

The objective of Annex 2 is to assess outstanding examples of current case studies, develop and validate a common case study template and methodological framework, and then develop in – depth case studies using this framework. The template is currently the “Case Book” to contain
descriptive information. The common frame work for case studies will allow comparison and contrast of policies and technologies adopted in different regulatory, legislative, network (grid), and natural environments. The overarching aim is to collect enough information from case studies around the world to extract lessons learned and best practices as well as foster future collaboration among participating countries. The Consumer Engagement Case Book reflects one way that ISGAN brings together experts and stakeholders from around the world to increase the awareness of consumer engagement in the field of smart grid.

Customer engagement and empowerment offers opportunities to save energy for customers and to operate the grid in a more efficient and reliable way for grid operators. Grid operators want to shift or reduce energy consumptions during times of peak consumptions, so they have  engaged and empowered customers to do that by proposing some benefits.
Cases of customer engagement and empowerment in this book share lessons learned in developing and deploying these technologies to  stakeholders.


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November 18, 2017


Phase-sensitive Enabling of Household Engagement in Smart Grids

Today, flexibility in energy end-use, particularly by households, is not sufficiently stimulated in many countries. Hence system-level benefits such as reduced electricity bills, better integration of renewable electricity generation and lowering of grid costs, are not realized.

Therefore, a widespread adoption of active demand1 by households is needed to tilt the cost-benefit balance of the investment in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) towards a net benefit for society.

Although a variety of interventions aimed at activating households have been piloted in smart grid projects, a consistent and integrated view on how to incentivize end users to change their behavior is still lacking. From an energy policy perspective, it is important to understand key enabling factors that contribute to active demand by households, in order to leverage them by targeted policy interventions. From a research and innovation policy perspective, social innovations and involving end users in the innovation process are important fostering factors to overcome the barriers in bringing smart grid technologies from technological readiness to system wide deployment. This policy brief therefore aims at highlighting key success factors for active household engagement in smart grids. Based on experiences from existing programs and projects, it has become clear that two phases for active end-user engagement need to be distinguished:

  • ACTIVATION PHASE, an initial phase of end-user engagement and a
  • CONTINUATION PHASE, to enable the entrenchment of the newly acquired energy behavior.

For each of the two phase’s, diverse success factors were identified, with the main conclusion that a more differentiated, phase-sensitive view is needed on how to encourage greater user engagement through policy measures.

As the aim of ISGAN is to facilitate global knowledge sharing, this policy brief intends to disseminate these finding on user-engagement to a broader audience of policy makers dealing with smart grid policy.


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November 13, 2017


Knowledge Exchange Workshop Bangalore, India

ISGAN Knowledge Exchange on Distributed Generation, Microgrids, and Smart Metering Bangalore, India, 13-15 November 2017 Organized by the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN), in partnership with National Smart Grid Mission, Ministry of Power, Government of India.

We are pleased to inform you that the executive summary of India KTP workshop is now available for download as attached.

ISGAN KTP India Workshop held on 14th November 2017, at CPRI Bangalore Attachments
Challenges & Opportunities for Ensuring Efficient, Reliable Electricity by Vivek Goel Download
Application of Smart Metering in Sweden by Johan Söderbom Download
Japan-India Cooperation by Takamasa Murakami Download
SG Deployment Project of KEPCO by Gun Bae Park Download
EU Smart Meter Rollouts by John Cronin Download
Jeju Smart Grid Testbed by Jung Hyo Bae Download
Smart Grid Development in Norway by Kjell Sand Download
Microgrid for Mines by Sandip Sinha Download
Active Network Management by Shravana Musunuri Download
Prosumers in India’s Future Grid by Rahul Tongia Download
Lessons on Local Grid & Prosumer Empowerment by Ravi Seethapathy Download

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September 12, 2017


ISGAN Public Workshop in Genk

Presentations and Summary of ISGAN public workshop on "Building the flexible power systems"​ held in Genk, Belgium

The FPS Economy, SME, Self-Employed and Energy – DG Energy & EnergyVille, would like to invite you to the public workshop of the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN):

Building the flexible power systems.
From analog to digital, from lorry to EV, from customers to prosumers

12 September 2017, 09:30-18:00

All over the globe, governments have set ambitious targets for the deployment of renewable energy sources. Unlocking the full flexibility potential throughout the power system is essential to enable these objectives. This ISGAN public workshop gathers world-class speakers from international organizations, public authorities, utilities and research institutes to exchange views on current and  future energy policies, to showcase best practices and to bring together experts in various technologies to come to a power system vision.

At Thor Central
Thor Park 8000
3600 Genk
Belgium

 

Session 1 – High-level introduction
10h00 – 10h15 Jean-Marc Delporte, Chairman FPS Economy, SME, Self-Employed and Energy
10h15 – 10h30 Mark Van Stiphout, Deputy Head of Unit for New energy technologies, innovation and clean coal, European Commission
SMART AND CLEAN ENERGY FOR ALL (PDF, 1.1 MB)
10h30 – 10h45 Ronnie Belmans, CEO EnergyVille & CEO GSGF
Research into sustainable energy and smart energy systems (PDF, 767.27 KB)
10h45 – 11h00 Karin Widegren, Chair ISGAN
ISGAN in a nutshell (PDF, 1 MB)
11h00-11h30 Coffee break
Session 2 – Overview of International Activities on Flexibility
11h30 – 13h00 Moderator: Nancy Mahieu, Director General for Energy
Rui Luo, CEM secretariatSusanne Ackeby, ISGAN
Overview of International Activities on Flexibility
ISGAN, Annex 6 Power T&D Systems (PDF, 474.79 KB)
Edwin Haesen, EcofysPieter Vingerhoets, GSGF
Flexibility around the world (PDF, 847.22 KB)
13h00 – 14h00 Lunch
Session 3 – Smart grids contributing to a flexible power system
14h00 – 15h30 Moderator: Roberto Zangrandi, EDSO for Smart Grids
Bob Hebb, Elia
Challenges and opportunities decentralised flex (PDF, 1.27 MB)
Atul Bali, NSGM-PMU, INDIA
Flexibility in Indian Power System (PDF, 370.48 KB)
Steven Hauser, GridWise Alliance
Donghan Feng, State Energy Smart Grid R&D Center of ChinaJohn Ward, CSIRO
Building the flexible power systems (PDF, 1007.1 KB)
15h30 – 16h00 Coffee break
Session 4 – Towards a smart & flexible power system
16h00 – 17h30 Moderated: Michele de Nigris, IEA End-Use Working Party Vice-Chair Electricity
Russ Conklin, ISGANAdrej Jentsch, DHC
District Heating and Cooling as a key element of a smart power grid (PDF, 582.13 KB)
Roland Bründlinger, PVPS
Towards a smart & flexible power system (PDF, 528.96 KB)
Bert Gysen, ECES
Energy Conservation through Energy Storage  (ECES TCP) (PDF, 638.9 KB)
Filip Johnsson, IETSSession 1 – High-level introduction
Increasing the value of wind and solar
Towards smart and flexible power systems (PDF, 528.96 KB)
Session 5 – Conclusions
17h30 – 17h45 Wim Dries, Mayor of the City of Genk
17h45 – 19h00 Networking Reception

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May 16, 2017


Why We Do Not Know Much about the Social Dimension of Smart Grids Transition?

Dealing with smart grids transitions, three years of activity of Annex 7 make it evident that policy makers are having many important questions about the dynamics of institutional change which need new answers.

However, rather than being able to provide ready-made answers about the institutional and social dimensions of smart grids, much more can be said about what-we-don’t-know. We identified two main reasons why we do not know enough about smart grid transition.

  1. The structural challenge is that energy research is mainly focusing on technologies for the physical grid with little knowledge on institutional change and the social dimension of energy transition.
    In an article in Nature, B.K. Sovacool (Vol 511, 2014) examined the scope of more than 4400 articles in leading energy technology and energy policy journals over 15 years. He identified four trends which he evaluates as worrisome if not tackled by public and private organizations and the scientific community:
    a. An underevaluation of influence of social dimensions on energy use,
    b. A bias towards science, engineering and economics over other social sciences and humanities,
    c. A lack of interdisciplinary collaboration and
    d. The underrepresentation of female authors or those of minority groups
    This corresponds to the challenges identified in developing a strategic research agenda for Smart Grids Transitions of Annex 7. The European Commission in its Horizon 2020 research and innovation program tries to address this issue by encouraging SSH research to be taken up in energy research projects. An interim evaluation2 shows the low level of SSH research with the main part going to economic research. Other disciplines are hardly visible and there is a significant geographical divide between countries in taking up the possibility to integrate SSH research.
    There is the need to insert the social and environmental dimensions in the projects of smart grid deployment as well as in the decision making processes needed to select the most appropriate solutions. It is not enough that projects be perfect from the technical and economics point of view, they should be based on a sound social analysis and include specific actions to take into consideration the concerns, needs, and expectations of citizens and consumers.
  2. Although the political will to further increase the public energy-R&D investment in the CEM countries substantially exists, statistical evidence shows a stagnation of energy related social-science-humanities R&D investment at a very low level.
    R&D statistics (OECD/IEA, EU – Horizon 2020) indicate that increases in public R&D spending over the last years did not lead to a more balanced resource-attribution for all research disciplines. Particularly, research resources for social sciences and humanities (SSH) have not yet received the attention it would require to learn more about embedding technological development in the economic and societal environment (e.g. on energy use, or on how future markets will look like).3
    Although the obstacles of data accuracy exacerbate the analysis, still two statements can be made:
    a. The share of R&D from SSH in the area of energy4 in OECD countries has been fluctuating significantly over the last years. When adding up all reported country figures between 0.1% and 9% during the period of 1974 and 20155.
    b. If at all, SSH-research capacities and funding in absolute terms is growing with much less speed than in engineering and natural sciences.
    Given the high uncertainties, how global energy transition should take place and the lack of orientation where technological development should lead to, SSH research will be needed even more urgently than in times of relative stability of the energy system.
    The intention of Mission Innovation, to double public clean-energy R&D investment over five years, is an encouraging signal for R&D actors and will likely lead to structural changes in the research and innovation-eco-system. However it remains to be seen, if this could also lead to a substantial rise in the knowledge about the social dimension of smart grids, without a political will to provide significant resources for SSH research as well as the appropriate R&D instruments.
    The following conclusion and recommendations can be drawn from this analysis:
  • Significantly more inter- and transdisciplinary research activities in social sciences and humanities are needed.
  • More attention has to be laid on generating know-how on social dimensions of technological and institutional transformation of energy systems and markets.
  • Financial resources for SSH research need to be raised at least as much as for technological development and the respective R&D capacities and infrastructures need to be built up sustainably. Collaboration and strategic research agendas should be coordinated amongst CEM-countries.
  • There is an urgent need for more accurate statistical data on SSH in energy research.

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May 12, 2017


Single Marketplace for Flexibility

To use this flexibility in a coordinated way, an ever closer cooperation between System Operators will be required. Several approaches for the coordinated use of flexibility for system balancing and congestion management are imaginable.

In this work, the concept of a single marketplace for flexibility is introduced. Based on the requirements for TSO-DSO interaction, the concept of a single marketplace for flexibility has been assessed. This assessment does not provide a comparison with other ways to ensure a coordinated use of flexibility, but it shows the strengths and weaknesses of a single marketplace for flexibility.

The single marketplace is a lean and transparent concept to deal with the procurement of flexibility, which could theoretically lead to an economical optimum for the entire system, while respecting technical boundary conditions. On the other hand, the marketplace will not function properly without sufficient flexibility offers, there is no practical experience with this concept and the ICT requirements for its implementation are challenging.


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May 1, 2017


Smart Grid Policy Messages for the Clean Energy Ministerial

The document was disseminated at the 8th Clean Energy Ministerial that took place in Beijing, China. It was developed by ISGAN Annex 4: Synthesis Insights for Decision Makers.


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March 9, 2017


The Smart & Strong Grid: Technology, Policy, and Finance to Connect People with Reliable Clean Energy

In the developing world, demand is growing rapidly, driving the need for massive investments in grids to connect more and more people while delivering high levels of service.

Developed countries face problems with an aging infrastructure. Across this landscape of change, it is crucial for policy-makers to understand the synergies between grids and information and communication technologies. Only smart and strong grids will connect people with reliable clean energy.


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March 1, 2017


Spotlight on Customer Engagement and Empowerment

The Case Book includes 10 cases on Consumer Engagement & Empowerment of the top 10 winning projects from the 1st ISGAN Awards Competition. Countries that are included in the CaseBook are Belgium, Denmark, France, Japan, Portugal, Netherlands, and U.S.A.

Customer engagement and empowerment offers opportunities to save energy for customers and to operate the grid in a more efficient and reliable way for grid operators. Grid operators want to shift or reduce energy consumption during times of peak consumption, so they have engaged and empowered customers to do that by proposing some benefits. Cases of customer engagement and empowerment in this book share lessons learned in developing and deploying
these technologies to stakeholders.

The Case Book includes 10 cases on Consumer Engagement & Empowerment of the top 10 winning projects from the 1st ISGAN Awards Competition. Countries that are included in the CaseBook are Belgium, Denmark, France, Japan, Portugal, Netherlands, and U.S.A.

Downloads:

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February 27, 2017


Spotlight on Smart and Strong Power T&D Infrastructure

This case book, prepared by ISGAN Annex 6 (Power T&D System), is a result of a comprehensive process of surveying, analysing and discussing important achievements in the application of smart grid approaches.

The case book Spotlight on Smart and Strong Power T&D Infrastructure highlights experiences of countries in different parts of the world, as they performed transmission and distribution projects on their electrical systems. The projects illustrate a wide range of applications, solutions, and technologies that were used to meet the challenges that various countries were facing. Many of the projects focused on the need to manage the integration of large amounts of renewable and often intermittent energy sources.

Additional projects will be added progressively in future editions of the case book.

The first edition of the case book was published in 2015. It includes eight cases, based on information collected during 2014 and 2015.

The second edition was published in 2016 and contains an aditional five cases. Case book summaries in Spanish and English are provided for the second edition .

 


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The International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) creates a mechanism through which stakeholders from around the world can collaborate to accelerate the development and deployment of smarter electric grids.
This report summarizes an international event organized by ISGAN; the National Smart Grid Mission; the Ministry of Power, Government of India; and the Central Power Research Institute, titled “Knowledge Exchange on Distributed Generation, Microgrids, and Smart Metering.” This report describes the programme of events and gives a summary of conclusions from an interactive knowledge exchange workshop and public conference that took place 13-15 November 2017 in Bengaluru, India, with 100 participants of which c. 20 international experts.


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Energy access constitutes one of the fundamental building blocks for economic growth, as well as social equity, in the modern world.

Access to sustainable energy is needed to achieve sustainable development. This paper serves as an input document to the global discussion on how to reach the UN goal of “Sustainable Energy for All”, by sharing case study knowledge in the field. The following topics are considered through the examination of several implemented cases from different parts of the world:

  • Analysis of the interaction between centralized grids and microgrids.
  • Analysis of stakeholder decision parameters for electrification through extension of the central grid or microgrids; such as distance from grid, economic feasibility and environmental sustainability.
  • Analysis of design differences and requirements for microgrids, based on intended purpose and the needs of the end customer.

It has been determined that good planning, appropriate requirements and clear regulations for microgrids limit the risk of stranded assets and enable better business cases for the involved stakeholders.


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August 17, 2016


Workshop Event Report: Unleashing Smart Grids in Mexico

Executive Summary of Smart Grid Events in Mexico City 17–19 August 2016

The purpose of this report is to give an account of a collaborative International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) and the 21st Century Power Partnership (21 CPP) project focusing on
Mexico’s path towards smart grids and grid modernization. This report describes the programme of events and gives a summary of conclusions from an interactive knowledge exchange workshop and public conference that took place 17–19 August 2016 in Mexico City.


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A synchrophasor is a time-synchronized measurement of a quantity described by a phasor. Like a vector, a phasor is a complex number that represents both the magnitude and phase angle of voltage and current sinusoidal waveforms at a specific point in time. Devices called phasor measurement units (PMU) measure voltage and current, and with these measurements, calculate parameters such as frequency, real power (MW), reactive power (MVAR) and phase angle. Data reporting rates for these parameters are typically 30 to 60 records per second, and may be higher. In contrast, current supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems typically report data every four to six seconds – over a hundred times slower than PMUs.

Measurements taken by PMUs in different locations on the network are accurately synchronized with each other and can be time-aligned, allowing the relative phase angles between different points in the system to be determined as directly measured quantities. Synchrophasor measurements can thus be combined to provide a precise and comprehensive “view” of an entire interconnection, allowing unprecedented visibility into system conditions.

The number of PMUs installed worldwide, as well as the number and type of grid operations informed by PMU data and applications, have seen notable increases in recent years. The past six years have seen a significant increase in the number of PMUs installed across North America’s transmission grid, from fewer than 500 installed in 2009 to nearly 2,000 today. This rapid increase in deployment of PMUs was spurred by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which funded federal Smart Grid Investment Grants (SGIG) and Smart Grid Demonstration Projects (SGDP), with matching private funds. In Norway, responsibility for the deployment of PMUs has recently been assumed by the Transmission System Operator’s IT division, meaning that PMUs are becoming an integral part of the grid information infrastructure for system operations.


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June 28, 2016


Spotlight on Smart and Strong Electric Power Infrastructure Best practice shared from the ISGAN Annex 6 case book

The introduction in the generation mix of a continuously increasing share of generation from renewable energy sources (RES), the geographical spread of generation when increasing the amount of distributed production, as well as changing patterns of demand from new types of load such as electric vehicles, will create new challenges for the electric power transmission and distribution (T&D) systems.

The case book Spotlight on Smart and Strong Power T&D Infrastructure spotlights a number of projects sharing best practices to meet challenges for the power systems to become stronger and smarter.

Many different approaches are possible to meet these challenges and the regulators have a key role in supporting the development towards clean sustainable solutions.
Different countries have different challenges, will use different solutions to those challenges, and have reached different maturity in the implementation of those solutions. Smart grid solutions are also found across the entire electrical system, from the high voltage transmission grid, through the distribution grid and finally on consumer level. It is therefore no generic solution or size that fits all for the solution towards the smart and strong grid. At the same time there are generic solutions and findings from experiences that can be adapted by other countries to make local implementation faster and more efficient.


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June 6, 2016


Storage and balancing as key elements for future network planning and electricity markets design

The aim of this report is to analyze the flexibility contribution that identified resources could provide as a contribution towards the achievement of efficient and cost-effective dispatching of the electric system, in presence of an ever increasing penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) which are characterized by a variable generation pattern.

Higher flexibility in network dispatching can be achieved either by increasing the deployment of bulk storage in the transmission network, or by widening the set of resources available as a base for energy balancing. The latter strategy could potentially be actuated by allowing reserve procurement across transmission operator jurisdictions.

In a European context this strategy would be referred to as trans-national balancing; and could also be relevant to procurement across different Regions and Balancing Authorities in North America. A further positive could be achieved through participation in the balancing mechanism from generators and loads located in distribution networks. Beyond supporting dispatching efficiency, these flexibility elements make it possible to deploy a sustainable expansion strategy of the trans-national transmission corridors, taking into account the current difficulties faced in achieving public consensus for the building of new overhead lines. This report illustrates the potential of these strategies by referencing the results achieved in a number of important and ongoing European research projects.


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May 28, 2016


The role and interaction of microgrids and centralized grids in developing modern power systems

An extension of microgrids is now underway, primarily to allow increased electrification in growing economies but also to meet the need to reduce global CO2 emissions and to provide ancillary services to centralized grids.

Energy Access constitutes one of the fundamental building blocks for economic growth as well as social equity in the modern world. Access to sustainable energy is needed to achieve sustainable development.

Through examination of several implemented cases from different parts of the world the following topics are considered: i) Analysis of the interaction between centralized grids and microgrids ii) Analysis of stakeholder decision parameters for electrification iii) Analysis of design differences and requirements for microgrids, depending on the intended purpose and the need of the end customer. It is determined that good planning, suitable requirements and clear regulations for microgrids (in relation to centralized grids) limits the risk of stranded assets and enables better business cases for the involved stakeholders.


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February 28, 2016


Executive Summary of Smart Grid Events in Mexico City 17–19 August 2016

The purpose of this report is to give an account of a collaborative International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) and the 21st Century Power Partnership (21CPP) project focusing on Mexico’s path towards smart grids and grid modernization.

This report describes the programme of events and gives a summary of conclusions from an interactive knowledge exchange workshop and public conference that took place 17–19 August 2016 in Mexico City.


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July 28, 2015


Why the TSO-DSO Relationship Needs to Evolve

A number of emerging trends indicate that the interaction between transmission system operators (TSO) and distribution network operators (DSO) will evolve in the coming years.

Examples of these trends are the electrification of energy consumption and the increasing volume of distributed generation being connected to the distribution grid.

The relationship between transmission system operators (TSO) and distribution network operators (DSO) is changing. Examples of these trends are the electrification of energy consumption and the increasing volume of distributed generation being connected to the distribution grid. In Europe this subject is highly relevant as pointed out by ENSTO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) in their paper, Towards smarter grids: Developing TSO and DSO roles and interactions for the benefit of consumers published in March 2015, and ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators) in their conclusions paper, Energy Regulation: A Bridge to 2025 published in September 2014. ENTSO-E is an association which represents 41 European TSOs and has an objective to promote closer cooperation across Europe’s TSOs to support the implementation of EU energy policy objectives of affordability, sustainability and security of supply. ACER is an agency of the European Union with the overall mission to complement and coordinate the work of national energy regulators at EU level, and to work towards the completion of the single EU energy market for electricity and natural gas. The expected increased interaction between TSOs and DSOs will result in both technical and non-technical challenges.

IEA ISGAN Annex 6 has published a discussion paper in which the current and future cooperation between TSOs and DSOs has been investigated. Six critical grid operation challenges have been identified:
1. Congestion of the transmission-distribution interface
2. Congestion of transmission lines and distribution lines
3. Voltage support (TSO↔DSO)
4. Balancing challenge
5. (Anti-)Islanding, re-synchronization, and black-start
6. Coordinated protection

For each case, country experts provided first-hand information about the status and expected development of TSO-DSO interaction in their respective countries. This resulted in an overview, by country, of the interaction between grid operators and provided input for the discussion about how this interaction could evolve in years to come. Technical aspects, as well as policy aspects, have been taken into account.
The technical solutions required for a closer interaction between TSOs and DSOs are very similar for most of the identified cases, except for the case of islanding & black-start. From a high level viewpoint, grid monitoring has to be implemented, communication between TSO and DSO has to be established and means of communication between the DSO and its flexible customers have to be available. DSOs should also be able to perform (quasi) real time network simulations with input from measurements on the grid.
Such technical requirements should not be underestimated regarding implementation and operational cost, complexity and skills required. These could be a challenge, especially for smaller distribution network operators. Nonetheless, only the distribution grid operator has information about the actual grid configuration and grid loading. This means that even when other entities take up certain roles, for example the role of aggregator, the distribution network operator will always be responsible for monitoring the grid and will need to implement communication solutions to one entity or another.
With the current status of technology, technical requirements for an evolved interaction between TSOs and DSOs can be met. However, several non-technical issues, or points of discussion, have been identified which are closely related to the regulated environment grid operators are working in.

• Maintaining a balance between infrastructure investments and use of flexibility

Flexible demand and generation can be used to support grid operation and avoid infrastructure investments. A minimum use of flexibility will be necessary to avoid over investing, but the impact on the processes and business cases of flexible customers has to be limited. The flexibility available by curtailing renewable energy sources needs to be limited to avoid a high loss of renewable energy.

• The role of markets
Which grid operation challenges should be met by introducing markets and which should be managed only by technical means and appropriate bilateral contracts? It is proposed to use market mechanisms only for the balancing challenge, which is applied today in various countries. Coping with local grid operation challenges such as critical transformer loading, line loading and voltages, is proposed to be managed by the network operators, optimally interacting with each other and using flexible customers when necessary. Because of the local nature of the mentioned grid operation challenges, markets would not work efficiently. Instead, a regulatory framework is required for bilateral contracts between flexible customers and network operators, facilitating the use of flexible generation and demand for grid operation purposes.

 

• Setting a level playing field for flexibility
When the combined flexibility of customers on the distribution and transmission grid is used, favoring one set of customers at the cost of the other should be avoided. For example, when facing critical line loading on the transmission grid, the use of flexibility of only distribution connected customers would be undesirable. Some mechanism, probably in discussion with the regulator, should be implemented to cope with this.

• The role of regulation
Closely related to the previous statement is the discussion point on how grid operation should evolve:
more regulated, with clearer and stricter roles, or more open, with guaranteed interaction between grid operators and new market players? There is no one size fits all solution but in any case, a clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of all participants in future grid operation will be necessary and will serve as a good start.
A clear policy framework will, in every case, push forward investments in Smart Grid solutions to deal with the discussed challenges that grid operators are facing.
The article is based on a discussion paper published by IEA ISGAN Annex 6.


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June 4, 2015


The Role of Smart Grids in Integrating Renewable Energy

Flexible, strong, and smart grids play a crucial role in the integration of variable renewable energy (RE). As high levels of variable RE penetration become increasingly common across power systems, attention to grid operations and planning becomes more important.

Smart grid technologies offer new options for integrating variable RE, yet technology is not the only important area of focus—innovative policy, regulation, and business models are needed to incentivize and implement next-generation grid architectures.

This discussion paper explores the intersection of smart grid technology, policy, and regulation from a non-technical point of view, focusing on some specific questions relevant for decision makers:

• What are the challenges of integrating variable RE into power grids?
• What types of smart grid solutions are emerging to integrate variable RE?
• What are good examples from around the world of smart grids aiding in the integration of variable RE?
• What types of policy and regulatory approaches are emerging to support smart grid solutions in relation to RE?

Based on emerging case studies from around the world, this discussion paper concludes that smart grids offer solutions to various challenges associated with variable RE, including
providing additional flexibility, unlocking demand side participation, and deferring more costly grid upgrades.


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May 28, 2015


Spotlight on Smart and Strong Electric Power Infrastructure – Summary

This paper summarize a number of smart-grid cases from the case book within ISGAN Annex 6: Power T&D Systems.

The case book Spotlight on Smart and Strong Power T&D Infrastructure spotlights a number of projects sharing best practice in how to meet the challenge to develop the electricity network to become stronger and smarter using different approaches.

For example how:

  • Existing and new AC power transmission lines can carry more power by the use of smart technologies such as WAMS and Synchrophasors.
  • HVDC lines with Voltage Source Converters can be used for interconnectors that also support the existing grid e.g. by avoiding voltage collapse.
  •  The use of smart voltage control concepts can increase the hosting capacity for distributed energy resources

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May 1, 2015


The Role of Smart Grids in Integrating Renewable Energy

This discussion paper explores the intersection of smart grid technology, policy, and regulation from a non-technical point of view, focusing on some specific questions relevant for decision makers.

Questions relevant for decision makers:

  • What are the challenges of integrating variable RE into power grids?
  • What types of smart grid solutions are emerging to integrate variable RE?
  • What are good examples from around the world of smart grids aiding in the integration of variable RE?
  • What types of policy and regulatory approaches are emerging to support smart grid solutions in relation to RE?
  • Based on emerging case studies from around the world, this discussion paper concludes that smart grids offer solutions to various challenges associated with variable RE, including providing additional flexibility, unlocking demand side participation, and deferring more costly grid upgrades.

This report is an update of a 2012 ISGAN Annex 4 report entitled “Smart Grid Contributions to Variable Renewable Resource Integration.”


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February 16, 2015


Cost & Benefit Analysis and Toolkits

The objective of ISGAN's Annex 3 is to develop a global framework and related analyses that can identify,  define, and quantify in a standardized way the benefits which can be realized from the demonstration and deployment of smart grids technologies and related practices in electricity systems.

Introduction and Executive Summary

To meet the required objective of this Annex, a program of work is designed and it includes the following three tasks:

  • Task 1: Assess Current Network Maturity Model and Update data
  • Subtask 1.1: Trial application of two network maturity analysis tools and results discussion
  • Subtask 1.2: Development of the questionnaire for the assessment of the level of smartness of transmission and distribution networks
  • Task 2: Analyze Current Benefit-Cost Analytical Methodologies and Tools
    • Subtask 2.1: Analyzing benchmark benefit-cost frameworks and tools
    • Subtask 2.2: Model research to overcome limit of current BCA frameworks and tools
  • Task 3: Develop Toolkits to Evaluate Benefit-Costs
    • Subtask 3.1: Development of Simplified cost-benefits analysis tool
    • Subtask 3.2: Technical Analysis of current BCA took-kit and Modification of Simplified tool-kit

For Task I, the report goes through several maturity frameworks available, especially those of Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL). The SEI has developed a management tool that can be used to measure the current state of a smart grid project, aiming to help utilities to identify the target and build proper strategies to reach it. The tool, Smart Grid Maturity
Model (SGMM), utilizes a set of surveys called Smart Grid Compass. The drawback of this tool is the undocumented scoring method of the surveys once a result is obtained. Full assistance of an SGMM Navigator is required for the utility to understand and analyze the SGMM output. Meanwhile, the KUL introduce the characteristics, categories and key performance indicators of a smart electricity grid. The previous report also includes own survey methods developed by Annex III, although there has not much of progress after that.

For Task II, an extensive update of the BCA survey has been provided in the previous report. It started with various frameworks related to BCA, which include Frontier Economics and the Smart Grid Forum (SGF) in UK, Smart Grid Investment Model (SGIM) of SGRC, I
MPLAN Model, McKinsey Tool, and general overviews of EPRI’s methodology to BCA and its subsequent developments by DOE and JRC. After that, several BCA applications to country-specific or states cases are summarized. Some of the surveyed countries are Czech Republic, Netherland, Lithuania, Denmark, and USA states. For the comparison purpose, the summary for each case is carried out following some key points: background of the smart grid project, the methodology or toolkits used, the scope of the project (location, period, technologies), the list and definition of benefits and costs, and deliverables (results, recommendations, policy andregulations). The 1st year’s work of Task II can be compared with the previous year’s work in the sense that how EPRI guideline has any impact on the work development of JRC and DOE frameworks, especially for the Smart Grid Computational Tool (SGCT), a BCA toolkit that is developed by US DOE. This report summarizes the findings from the previous works with the focus of selecting the benchmark smart grid tool kit for the development of own ISGAN tool kit for member countries.

For Task III, a simplified cost-benefit analysis tool is being developed taking SGCT of DOE as a benchmark tool kit, based on the previous year report on the development plan of ISGAN member countries’ toolkit. A standalone program based on Object Oriented Programming (OOP) is now being developed replicating, revising and upgrading the currently available excel-based SGCT. As will be discussed, this tool kit has various advantages over other tools: First, this tool is open to public and anyone can take a look inside of the model deep enough to examine the visual basic application modules. JRCEU, McKinsey models were once discussed in Annex III before for any potential utilization for ISGAN member countries’ tool kit. However, members acknowledge the fact that JRC works on excel based format and there seems to be not much difference between JRC’s work and DOE. The difference lies in the fact that JRC never opened up the details of the functionalities and sample calculation of BC in their whole work process. McKinsey software was discussed but it is not open to public. Rather it is a commercial package with no specific advantage over to SGCT of DOE. Detailed engine is not fully explained and the scope of the analysis the tool kit provides does not seem to be very useful (Nigris 2012, Kim 2013). The new tool kit being developed is named for the time being as ‘Replicated Tool Kit’ for convenience. Through the replication process, a lot of details have been identified, which, otherwise, would not have been known to us. Many of the parameters utilized in the process of benefitcalculation may be required to be collected from outside, reflecting the region specific characteristics. Some of the default values provided by SGCT, although they are from USA case (refer to Appendix), may also be useful until those detailed information becomes available for ISGAN member countries even when they don’t have them.

In addition, there a at least 12 smart grid projects currently being conducted in USA (refer to III.2.24), and those projects are starting to produce some detailed information which might be potentially utilized by current SGCT. Not only those advantages, there are many interesting researches being conducted around the world and the work results could be very useful sources of updating this replication effort in the future, once this replication process allows us to identify the pros and cons of the current model. The last chapter of the Expansion of Smart Grid Computational Tool is the wild idea of what could be accomplished in this whole process of simplified own ISGAN tool kit for member countries. Some of the ideas for the tool kit development become clearer as the process of the replication progresses. By the time of the completion of this year’s work, we hope to have a very concrete idea on how to proceed to further develop this current work in the future for the benefit of every member country in ISGAN.


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November 28, 2014


The role and interaction of microgrids and centralized grids in developing modern power systems

An extension of microgrids is now underway, primarily to allow increased electrification in growing economies but also to meet the need to reduce global CO2 emissions and to provide ancillary services to centralized grids.

Energy access constitutes one of the fundamental building blocks for economic growth as well as social equity in the modern world. Access to sustainable energy is needed to achieve sustainable development. A microgrid should not be seen as a competitor to the centralized grid but as a complement.

Through examination of several implemented cases from different parts of the world the following topics are considered:

  • Analysis of the interaction between centralized grids and microgrids
  • Analysis of stakeholder decision parameters for electrification
  • Analysis of design differences and requirements for microgrids, depending on the intended purpose and the need of the end customers

It is determined that good planning, suitable requirements and clear regulations for microgrids (in relation to centralized grids) limits the risk of stranded assets and enables better business cases for the involved stakeholders.
The paper is based on the discussion paper The role and interaction of microgrids and centralized grids in developing modern power systems – A case review publiced by ISGAN (International Smart Grid Action Network) Annex 6: Power T&D Systems.


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September 22, 2014


Spotlight on Advanced Metering Infrastructure

The AMI case book includes six case studies providing qualitative insights into the potential costs and benefits of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and the associated business cases for investment.

Each case presented has its own unique set of characteristics and drivers, which is indicative of the diverse range of motivating drivers for smart grid and AMI globally.

The lessons learned and best practices presented in the six case studies included in this case book provide qualitative insights into the potential costs and benefits of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and the associated business cases for investment. Each case presented has its own unique set of characteristics and drivers, which is indicative of the diverse range of motivating drivers for smart grid and AMI globally. It follows then that the specific costs, benefits and business cases vary from case to case. Still. there are a number of best practices and common themes emerging from these cases that are likely to be useful for any jurisdiction investigating or deploying AMI.Those common best practices and insights are presented here.

It should be noted that these six cases represent only a portion of global experience in considering and deploying AMI. In addition, AMI is only one system of technologies among a broad menu of options that can constitute a “smart grid.” Some countries consider an AMI a prerequisite for their smart grid, while others have dismissed the importance of AMI to grid modernization. Additional cases have been solicited or are under development that will enlarge global understanding of the role AMI can play as one possible component of smarter electricity networks worldwide.


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September 7, 2014


Smart Grid Drivers and Technologies by Country, Economies, and Continent

This report summarizes the unified assessment framework used in the 2014 survey, the analysis methodology, and the analysis results of smart grid motivating drivers and technologies at both the national level and multinational level.

Building on the lists of smart grid motivating drivers and technologies that were used for the 2012 survey, the assessment framework in 2014 was developed with slight refinements to reflect review feedback from current ISGAN Participants. The refined framework (i.e., lists of drivers and technologies) was then programmed into an online survey tool for use by each Participant to complete the assessment. Each Participant’s survey results were subjected to a validation process by that country’s national coordinator for Annex 1. A clustering analysis methodology was developed and applied to derive the composite, national-level prioritized assessment results from survey results (those approved through validation, or completed but not yet validated) from multiple respondents for a country. The same methodology was further applied to groups of multiple Participants’ prioritized assessment results to identify motivating drivers and technology priorities at a multinational level. Clustering analysis for the group of all ISGAN Participants, as well as of Participants grouped by economies (developed and developing) and by continent (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America), was conducted; these multinational-level prioritized assessment results are provided herein. Lastly, application of national-level and multinational-level prioritized assessment results for selecting each country’s smart grid projects for the ISGAN Inventory and for further information dissemination via the ISGAN Smart Grid Project Webinar Series is described.


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August 17, 2014


TSO-DSO interaction

An Overview of current interaction between transmission and distribution system operators and an assessment of their cooperation in Smart Grids.

Evolutions in the grid operation sector will require an ever closer cooperation between Transmission System Operators and Distribution System Operators. The current interaction between TSOs and DSOs has been investigated for six specified grid operation challenges, and possible future ways of cooperation have been identified. Technical aspects as well as policy aspects have been taken into account.
The technical requirements for an evolved interaction between TSOs and DSOs can be met using available technology. However, several non-technical issues and points of discussion have been identified, of which some are related to the regulated environment grid operators are working in.


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February 28, 2014


The Smart & Strong Grid: Connecting Clean Energy with People

To create a seamless cost-effective electricity system, from generation to end use, capable of meeting all energy demand and capacity requirements, while allowing consumer participation and electricity use as desired.


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February 28, 2014


An International Review of the Development of Technologies for Smart Grid

Flexible and resilient electricity systems are vital to the deployment and integration of many clean energy technologies. Electricity networks worldwide are under increasing stress, because the sources and uses of electric power are becoming progressively more varied and complex.

A growing amount of variable renewable energy generation, coupled with increasing consumer involvement through micro generation and flexible demand management, challenge the old ways of planning, operating, and investing in power systems.

In most developed countries, the existing electric infrastructure and workforce is rapidly aging, while in many developing countries, demand for electricity is rapidly rising. Across this landscape of change, it is crucial for policy-makers to understand the synergies between grids and information and communication technologies. Only smart and strong grids will connect people with reliable clean energy. This paper presents a part of the work being done within ISGAN Annex 6 on Power T&D Systems. International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) is an initiative within the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and an Implementing Agreement within the International Energy Agency (IEA). For more information please go to www.iea-isgan.org, or www.cleanenergyministerial.org/Our-Work/Initiatives/Smart-Grid.

This work involves the major economies and consequently major energy users in the world and is addressing the challenges for a secure and clean energy system including the concerns put forward by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). IEA publish regularly the reports World Energy Outlook (WEO) and Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP). In addition IEA has published a number of Technology Roadmaps, e.g. on Smart Grids, Wind Energy, Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), Solar PV Energy and Energy Storage. All scenarios showed by IEA are indicating a further increase of electricity as energy carrier both due to the integration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and due to increased electricity consumption in many countries, besides common applications also due to increased use of home electronics, heat pumps, air conditioning and electrical transportation (e.g. electrical vehicles, high speed trains). Increased variable electricity production (large scale and distributed) will require mitigation from storage and/or demand response. This will give further demands for capacity, flexibility and reliability of the future power T&D system.


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February 28, 2014


The role and interaction of microgrids and centralized grids in developing modern power systems

A rapid expansion of the introduction of microgrids is underway universally, primarily to allow increased electrification in growing economies, but also to meet the need to reduce global CO2 emissions and to provide ancillary services to centralized grids.

Energy access constitutes one of the fundamental building blocks for economic growth, as well as social equity, in the modern world. Access to sustainable energy is needed to achieve sustainable development. This paper serves as an input document to the global discussion on how to reach the UN goal of “Sustainable Energy for All”, by sharing case study knowledge in the field. The following topics are considered through the examination of several implemented cases from different parts of the world:

  • Analysis of the interaction between centralized grids and microgrids.
  • Analysis of stakeholder decision parameters for electrification through extension of the central grid or microgrids; such as distance from grid, economic feasibility and environmental sustainability.
  • Analysis of design differences and requirements for microgrids, based on intended purpose and the needs of the end customer.

It has been determined that good planning, appropriate requirements and clear regulations for microgrids limit the risk of stranded assets and enable better business cases for the involved stakeholders.


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February 22, 2014


Spotlight on Demand Side Management 1.0

The lessons learned and best practices presented in the twelve case studies included in this case book provide qualitative insights into the complexity of deploying Demand Side Management (DSM) initiatives.

These case studies are based on a diverse range of technologies and under specific market rules. They incorporate various program and policy mechanisms and include information on costs and the associated business cases for investment. Each case presented has its own unique set of characteristics and drivers, which is indicative of the diverse range of drivers for smart grid and DSM.

The cases are at very different stages throughout the world. While some countries have completed first rounds of pilots and are building on lessons learned, the others are at earliest stage of these initiatives. The size, customer class, choice of technologies deployed, specific costs, benefits and business cases vary from case to case. Still, there are a number of best practices and common themes emerging from these cases that are likely to be useful for any stakeholder investigating or deploying Demand Side Management. Those best practices and insights are presented here.

The key findings are a synthesis attempt of the broad range of the approaches tackled by the different smart grid demonstrators described by the 12 cases. It highlights the main lessons learned and best practices shared by the participating cases. These lessons learned mainly concerns technical approaches, customer engagement and market establishment.


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August 28, 2013


Smarter & Stronger Power Transmission: Review of feasible technologies for enhanced capacity and flexibility

Transmission and distribution (T&D) systems are facing new challenges linked with the introduction in the generation mix of a progressively increasing share of unpredictable energy sources and variable generation from renewable energy sources (RES).

Changing patterns of demand that new types of load such as electric vehicles (EV) will introduce large and unpredictable fluctuations in the power balance as well as variations in voltage can jeopardize the quality and availability of power. The T&D system has to be stronger and smarter to provide the real-time flexibility needed to efficiently handle the new conditions. Investment needs in the power T&D infrastructure are large and require long term planning and deployment. The environmental concerns and public acceptance issues that often arise when constructing additional conventional transmission lines will require more efficient solutions with lower environmental impact.

This Discussion Paper from ISGAN Annex 6 Power Transmission & Distribution Systems Task 3 and 4 focuses on “Smarter & Stronger Power Transmission” and is a review of feasible technologies for enhanced transmission capacity and flexibility in terms of status and deployment. This includes both the primary AC and DC technology for the high voltage transmission grid as well as the information and communication technology (ICT) required to efficiently supervise and operate the power system. Focus is on the development of power electronics including flexible AC transmission (FACTS) and high voltage DC (HVDC), the standardization within ICT such as IEC 61850 and Common Information Model (CIM) in order to obtain vendor independent interoperability as well as the progress of wide area monitoring, protection and control (WAMPAC). The combination of smarter ICT applications together with power electronics such as FACTS and HVDC can be described as a digitalization of the power system operation offering the required flexibility. Most of the examples given are from the Nordic European power system, reflecting the participation of the authors from ISGAN Annex 6 Task 3 and 4, with additional input from North America and selected International case studies.


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April 15, 2013


The Role of Smart Grid Technologies as Enablers of Clean Energy Policies in Islands of Developing and Developed Countries

Addressed at high-level policymakers, this paper summarizes key messages from recent publications on sustainable energy systems in islands and remote territories.

The diversity of islands of developing and developed nations offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate how deploying large amounts of intermittent renewable energy sources (RES) within smart grid architectures tailored to local energy contexts can be a cost-effective complement, and even an alternative, to current fossil-fuel solutions.

This paper, authored by Annex 4: Synthesis Insights for Decision Makers, covers the following topics:

  • The energy supply challenges faced by islands
  • Ways in which renewable energy technologies can improve sustainable electricity supply
  • Ways in which smart grid technologies can help enable the integration of large amounts of intermittent RES
  • Lessons learned from demonstration projects in islands
  • The importance of island systems in the global context of clean energy systems in developing and developed countries.

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March 31, 2013


Smart Grid Project Catalogue: Part 1, By Project Main Application

The objective of the ISGAN global smart grid inventory is to help depict a global view of smart grid activities and investments to allow identification of remaining gaps along with opportunities for targeted collaboration or further investment by ISGAN Participants.

Development of the inventory followed the ISGAN framework of assessment, during which smart grid drivers and technologies were assessed by each ISGAN Participant based on their respective national-level priorities.

Information on ongoing and planned smart grid projects that respond to national-level priorities was then collected from each Participant as input to the inventory. The inventory, constructed in Microsoft Access and Excel, adopted the data fields and their organization used by the European Commission Joint Research Centre-Institute for Energy and Transport (JRC-IET) survey of smart grid projects with slight modifications. Harmonization of database content between the JRC-IET database and the inventory is readily achieved, while the inventory allows each ISGAN Participant to independently conduct query and analysis of smart grid projects.

Cataloguing of the projects in the inventory is presented in a two-part report. Part 1 organizes smart grid projects by each main application; whereas, Part 2 organizes the inventory projects by their contribution to policy goals. The “project main applications” and “policy goals” in the inventory are in close association with the “smart grid technologies” and the “smart grid drivers,” respectively, in the assessment framework. The latter two categories are more granular than their respective former categories; in other words, a main project application and a policy goal could encompass, respectively, a group of smart grid technologies and drivers. Project information presented in the two-part report was drawn from data call responses by the national experts and representatives of the ISGAN Participants, without any changes. This report presents 98 smart grid projects from 17 ISGAN Participants in the inventory, dated 28 March 2013. As the inventory is being continuously updated, the content of this report will necessarily change to reflect the current status of the inventory.


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February 28, 2013


SIRFN Draft Test Protocols for Advanced Battery Energy Storage System Interoperability Functions

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as energy storage systems (ESS) when deployed at a large scale are capable of significantly influencing bulk and local power systems.

While in many cases the negative effects of uncoordinated DER have caused local and system-level challenges, with proper design and control, DER can effectively support the electric grid. DER with advanced control features have been shown to increase hosting capacity by providing voltage support in distribution circuits, supplying ancillary services such as voltage or frequency regulation.

New energy storage targets in Europe and California, energy storage regulations, along with new storage technologies are providing the foundation for massive deployment of energy storage resources. Large-scale storage is common for renewable energy smoothing, peak-shifting, and voltage support, while commercial and residential-scale systems are financially viable in many jurisdictions due to grid codes and other regulations. For instance, electricity prices in Germany are high enough that storing solar energy for use during peak price periods has made home ESS cost effective.

Further, the combination of solar photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage can generate additional value when interoperable grid-support (“advanced grid”) functions allow for intelligent control. In a position paper issued by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), decentralized storage and the ability for those devices to respond to commanded signals will “help support distribution grids operation – and even sometimes avoid costly grid reinforcements.” Widespread adoption of these functions could allow energy storage to remove some of the barriers to high-penetration PV and wind power.

Advanced DER grid functions are not the same across all countries and jurisdictions; and many regions do not have a defined certification procedure to validate the functionality of these devices. As a result, DER system vendors create different versions of their product’s software to be compliant with regional requirements. This adds cost and complexity to the design and certification processes. It also generates disparate testing methods and there is no common set of parameters that can be communicated to the DERs. If a single procedure was created that accounted for all the jurisdictional variations (e.g., a superset of the grid code discrepancies), a single document and procedure could be used to validate all grid code requirements. This is challenging because there are a large number of grid codes and technical rules—each with variations in the function definitions.

The development of an inclusive set of tests for grid support functionality has the potential to open markets for energy storage providers. Data collection redundancies are removed as well, thereby further reducing the overall cost of certification and deployment. Hence, harmonization and standardization of these advanced function tests would bolster the international market for energy storage systems and enable higher penetrations of renewable energy sources.

To accomplish this goal, the proposed “SIRFN BESS” protocol is inclusive of many technical rules and grid codes while being detailed enough for uniform results across laboratories, countries and, even, continents.


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February 28, 2013


Flexible Power Delivery Systems: An Overview of Policies and Regulations and Expansion Planning and Market Analysis for the United States and Europe

With the changing dynamics of electric grid systems around the world, decision-makers – both institutional and technological – are facing numerous new challenges to operating, planning, and expanding their systems.

New technologies are challenging conventional regulatory regimes and new policies and consumer demands are similarly challenging the currently available technologies. For example, as the demand for cleaner energy sources gains ground all over the globe, technological improvements are necessary to integrate large amounts of variable energy sources such as solar and wind into various electricity systems, while ensuring acceptable levels of reliability and security of the system. Similarly, as consumers engage more with electricity systems, demand profiles and consumer choice, among other demand-side elements, are also challenging our system, providing opportunities for demand-side management and related technologies. In this rapidly changing landscape, regulators and policy-makers must consider how consumer participation and new technologies interact with the market place.

This discussion paper from ISGAN Annex 6 Power Transmission & Distribution Systems Tasks 1 and 2 focuses on achieving flexible power delivery by examining the policies and regulations, as well as expansion, planning, and market analysis for the United States and Europe. This review looks at how policies and regulations have changed to accommodate new developments in the operation, planning, and market areas of each grid system. Additionally, it highlights certain efforts undertaken to better understand and implement the policy and regulatory changes in these processes as both the United States and Europe work towards achieving a modernized grid system, specifically including the increased deployment and use of smart grid technologies, e.g., synchrophasor measurement technologies, net metering, distributed generation, energy storage, advanced metering infrastructure.

About ISGAN Discussion Papers: ISGAN discussion papers are meant as input documents to the global discussion about smart grids. Each is a statement by the author(s) regarding a topic of international interest. They reflect works in progress in the development of smart grids in the different regions of the world. Their aim is not to communicate a final outcome or to advise decision-makers, rather to lay the ground work for further research and analysis.


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April 25, 2012


Managing Consumer Benefits and Costs

In some jurisdictions, the roll out of smart grid technologies has achieved less consumer engagement than would be desirable, and in particular some projects have failed to clearly communicate the benefits and costs of smart grid technologies, resulting in mixed reactions from consumers.

This is a key risk area that must be addressed for successful implementation. In this context, it is worth briefly reviewing conventional methods of cost-benefit analysis and mechanisms for cost recovery with a greater focus on the consumer side of the equation, as the underlying values and processes will inform new cost allocation methods for smart grid investments.

ISGAN brings the experience and perspective of the global Smart Grids community together in this paper in order to increase understanding of the costs and benefits of smart grids from a consumer perspective, so that they may be communicated more widely and more effectively.

This paper, authored by Annex 4: Synthesis Insights for Decision Makers, attempts to address these issues across a range of likely possible smart grid configurations and market structures, while acknowledging that many other technology configurations are possible. In light of the continuing evolution of the smart grid, cost allocation will be an ongoing subject of ISGAN research and analysis, and this white paper aims to provide a framework for this ongoing analysis.


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April 25, 2012


Smart Grid Contribution to Variable Renewable Energy

Globally, modernization of electrical grids is taking place alongside rapid deployment of these variable renewable resources (VRRs), although these two trends are not always coordinated.

The need for new balancing resources and for a “seamless grid” capable of integrating both large-scale and small distributed energy resources (DER) are among the driving forces of smart grid development. Smarter grids are an important enabling tool for achieving higher penetrations of VRR on transmission and distribution networks. Depending upon the relative share and geographic distribution of large-scale and DER resources, various technologies, regulations, and policies are required to support high levels of VRR generation. In this context, policy makers will benefit from an understanding of how smart grid technologies contribute to VRR integration, and all stakeholders will benefit from increased alignment between smart grid development roadmaps and national and regional visions for renewable energy development.

The objective of this report, authored by Annex 4: Synthesis Insights for Decision Makers, is to give insights for decision makers on the various contributions of smart grid systems in achieving VRR integration. A variety oftools and solutions exist for achieving high penetrations of VRR generation, and the smart grid solutions outlined in this report are considered alongside a range of integration best practices.


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April 25, 2012


Smart Grid Cyber Security

Maximizing electric sector innovation while minimizing cyber security risk is a key goal of smart grid policy development.

Significant policy gaps exist in the field of grid cyber security, and ISGAN is well-positioned to convene stakeholders and foster discussion to advance best practices that support innovation while protecting critical infrastructure and consumer data privacy. This report, authored by Annex 4: Synthesis Insights for Decision Makers, identifies key issues in cyber security policy design, and suggests potential collaborations for the ISGAN membership.


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