Physical Context (Telecommunications)

Activities

  • Assessment of regulatory and technical environment of the AnyPLACE solution in Europe
  • Recommendation for regulators

Key Findings

Looking at the regulatory environment of the energy supply area in a European scale is a challenging task. Starting with a top down approach it is obvious that the regulation on a European level is equal for every member state. On a national level the European regulation results in different national approaches and used technologies and a very heterogeneous landscape of solutions. #

Three major facts can be seen as reasons for this situation:

  1. Energy supply, its industry and market has been around for a very long time. Each of the national ecosystems have been established well before the EU has even been founded. This is also the case for other industries,
  2. The energy sector has a very long investment cycle, which can last up to 40 years for investment goods such as transformers and generators. The industry field as such is not very dynamic and change takes a very long time.
  3. In the metering area the huge number of affected devices, and therefore also the required investment to change or upgrade the infrastructure, is a big roadblock. Any solution rolled out without proper analysis would represent a huge risk. Due to the nature of the business, where the reliability of the energy supply is the key performance indicator, Utilities are very risk averse, and prefer incremental improvements to technological leaps.

Taking these circumstances into account the national regulators would need to be more demanding on one side by setting stricter goals, but also needs to be more supportive on the other side by e.g. granting incentives for reaching the goals or installing mechanisms to mitigate possible losses.

The standards side of the energy and smart grid sector is covered very well. In most cases there are competing standards for the same applications, which is the dilemma that needs to be solved by the market but again, will take more time. But regulatory interventions on a technical level should really be the last measure to resolve this issue.

The information we learned would be of interest to:

Regulators and researchers who want to understand the European context.

Further reading

Project Documents will be posted on www.anyplace2020.org as they are published.

European Commission, M/490 – Smart Grid Mandate – Standardization Mandate to European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs) to support European Smart Grid deployment, 2011

ENISA, Smart Grid Security – Recommendations for Europe and Member States, 2012.

SMART GRID STANDARDS MAP INTERNATIONAL ELECTROTECHNICAL COMMISSION