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


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
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)
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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September 1, 2017

Asymmetric benefits of Smart Grids

The Discussion Paper focuses on an analysis of the distribution of costs and benefits primarily in relation to decentralized electricity consumption on the residential level. The aim is to discuss whether social imbalances are induced by shifting the burdens of financing the grid towards lower income classes. Such imbalances may be aggravated by the tendency to go off grid, thereby challenging current cost recovery schemes.

The world’s electricity systems face challenges, including ageing of infrastructures, continued growth in demand, integration of variable renewable energy sources and plug-in electric vehicles, the need to improve the security of supply as well as the need to lower carbon emissions. Smart grid technologies offer a way to meet these challenges and to develop a cleaner and more efficient energy supply. However, national and regional circumstances, such as available sources of supply, grid structure and legislative and regulatory conditions, will give rise to a substantial diversity in the implementation of different smart grid technologies and system solutions.

In order to be able to disseminate experiences and conclusions regarding costs and benefits of these different projects in an efficient and systematic way, a framework for socioeconomic cost-benefit analyses in relation to smart grid solutions needs to be developed. Knowing ex-ante how the socioeconomic effects are distributed can support the design of new policies, the reformation of the regulatory framework as well as the prioritisation of initiatives, and shed light on gaps in research.

This report analyses the distribution of costs and benefits primarily in relation to decentralized electricity consumption on the residential level. The aim is to discuss whether social imbalances are induced by shifting the burdens of financing the grid towards lower income classes. Such imbalances may be aggravated by the tendency to go off grid, thereby challenging current cost recovery schemes.

Socioeconomic analyses are those that aim at identifying differences between groups of people that share similar characteristics like their level of education, employment status, living condition, occupation and income, among other. When assessing smart technologies and regulatory regimes in the context of smart grids, socioeconomic analyses highlight their associated social impact, thereby looking at how related measures affect energy consumption, income and wealth distribution, equity and participation.

The report especially focuses on the question how own, decentralized electricity production changes pricing and tariffing schemes and which socioeconomic factors should be taken into account when designing new cost and benefits models to analyse and assess investments in smart grids related technologies and smart grid regulation.

Energy consumption (in kWh/a) for different types (left) and sizes (right) of households

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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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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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January 1, 2017

Multicriterial decision making: the smart metering case

Since smart grids impacts require new assessment approaches, this report aims at contributing on the debate about the evaluation of costs and benefits of smart grid projects. In particular, the evaluation approach which combines the Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) and the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is employed for evaluating a smart metering infrastructure case study.

The impacts generated by the smart metering infrastructure (or Advanced Metering Infrastructure, AMI) are evaluated by means of a tailored MC-CBA approach. In particular, the state of art in Italy of smart metering for low voltage consumers is presented and analysed. The aim of this document is twofold. Firstly, the proposed MC-CBA methodology is applied to a smart grid asset case study. Secondly, the assessment is made by means of a cross-platform which integrates the MCA approach and the ISGAN CBA toolkits. The decision-making problem of identifying the best AMI alternative is modeled as a hierarchical structure of evaluation criteria. Three different area of interest are investigated: economic effects, enhanced smartness of the grid, and externalities. The most suitable criteria are selected to obtain an effective assessment framework and avoid double counting. Firstly, the AMI case study is evaluated by means of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique. The same MCA approach has been applied by using the ELECTRE III technique and the ELECTRE III technique succeeding a fuzzy-scoring method. Finally, the obtained results are compared and the observed peculiarities of the used MCA techniques are described. In particular, the evolutive AMI alternative is always pointed out as the best. On one hand, the AHP appraisal seems to be suitable for preliminary decision-making analysis. On the other hand, the ELECTRE III method appears to be suitable for a deeper analysis of the decision-making problem.

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