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Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation     39

                                                               SMART GRIDS

becomes even more evident. Smart            by other countries to make local           more than 80% of the global GHG
grid captures a range of advanced           implementation faster and more             emissions and promoters of more than
information, sensing, communications,       efficient.                                 90% of green energy technologies
controls and energy technologies,                                                      investments. The experience
resulting in an electric power system       ISGAN (International Smart Grid            expressed in this context is therefore
that can intelligently integrate the        Action Network) is an IEA Technology       potentially unique and the reports and
actions of all connected users – from       Collaboration Program (TCP) with           tools developed within ISGAN and
power generators to electricity             the vision to accelerate progress          beyond can find a very fertile terrain
consumers, to those who do both.            on key aspects of smart grid policy,       for new developments, validation
Smart grid solutions are also found         technology, and related standards          and deployment. Policy relevance is a
across the entire electrical system,        through voluntary participation by         top priority for ISGAN. The unbiased
from the high voltage transmission          governments in specific projects and       technical expertise and the direct
grid, through the distribution grid and     programs. ISGAN is also an initiative      interaction with policy makers are the
finally on consumer level.                  of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM)      two major assets on which ISGAN can
                                            and was formally established at CEM2       base its leadership.
Rapid developments in information           in Abu Dhabi, in 2011. As the only
and communication technology are            global government-to-government            The collaborative efforts of ISGAN
facilitating the modernization of the       initiative for sharing information,        focuses on development of protocols
electricity system and the introduction     best practices, and competence on          and best practices, identification of
of new market solutions that can            electricity networks ISGAN helps to        environmental issues and mitigation
contribute to crucial changes in the        identify solutions to accelerate smart     options; and by publicizing its member
way customers participate on the            grid deployment, enable replication        countries’ and industries’ newly
market. New technology, new market          of proven ideas, and support greater       developed tools, techniques, R&D,
models and regulatory approaches            national ambition in developing and        and country support policies, ISGAN
that help to increase flexibility           deploying smart grids. In addition,        contributes to a global benchmark
throughout the system will enhance          ISGAN facilitates dynamic knowledge        and collaborative attitude among
the functioning of the market to the        sharing, technical assistance,             participating countries.
benefit of consumers. It is in this         and project coordination, where
perspective that the need to further        appropriate. ISGAN participants report     ISGAN activities are conducted in
develop and invest in smart grids is to     periodically on progress and projects      several areas:
be considered.                              to the Ministers of the Clean Energy
                                            Ministerial, in addition to IEA reporting  •	 The working group on smart
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION                 requirements.                                  grid case studies captures and
THROUGH ISGAN                                                                              shares important lessons learned
The opportunities provided by Smart         Membership in ISGAN is voluntary, and          from the many smart grid pilot,
Grid is basically determined by             currently includes Australia, Austria,         demonstration, and deployment
the same set of drivers in different        Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark,               projects completed or underway.
regions of the world, but with different    European Commission, Finland,
priorities. In the developing world,        France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy,    •	 A cost–benefit analysis working
demand is growing rapidly. Driving the      Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands,         group collects and evaluates
need for massive investments in grid        Norway, Russia, Singapore, South               existing methodologies and
to connect more and more people             Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and         tools and develops new tools
while delivering high level of services.    the United States.,                            for assessing grid maturity and
Developed countries face problems                                                          measuring smart grid benefits and
with an aging infrastructure. In Europe     ISGAN plays an amalgamating role               costs.
policy goals like the full integration      between government and related
of the internal electricity market          private sector in both informal and        •	 A working group on strategic
and the integration of renewables           formal ways. ISGAN focuses its                 communications helps other
as well as increasingly constrained         activities on those aspects of smart           ISGAN activities translate complex
networks have been identified as the        grids where governments have                   information on smart grids for
dominant drivers. It is therefore no        regulatory authority and expertise.            decision makers and highlight areas
generic solution or size that fits all for                                                 for further ISGAN or CEM attention.
the solution towards the smart and          ISGAN ACTIVITIES AND
strong grid. At the same time there         ACHIEVEMENTS                               •	 The Smart Grid International
are generic solutions and findings          The present ISGAN membership                   Research Facility Network (SIRFN)
from experiences that can be adapted        includes countries responsible for             brings together world-class
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