The smart grid sector requires both standardisation and interdisciplinary collaboration if the UK is to build a low-carbon economy, according to a new government-backed and IET-informed report.
Entitled 'Smart Grids: Commercial Opportunities and Challenges for the UK', the report summarises the smart grid landscape world-wide and was prepared with assistance from the IET's Energy Policy panel. Writing on behalf of the government-backed Technology Strategy Board's Energy Generation and Supply Knowledge Transfer Network, its author Dr Aidan Rhodes notes that if the UK can make smart grid technologies work, the potential market is global.
The report summarises the funding available from a number of UK, EU and US sources to help with developing smarter grids. It adds though that the UK will not succeed here without both substantial investment and "strong, clear and long-term policies and regulatory support."
In particular, it says that strong, well-adopted standards for communication, connectivity, information handling, security and control are needed to enable smart grid integration. And it highlights the requirement for multiple different disciplines - including power engineering, IT, networking, and control systems - to collaborate in order to produce a functioning smart grid.