Smart Grids for saving energy and protecting the environment - the role of regulation
Wednesday 9th December 2009, Copenhagen
Official side event of COP-15
Europe's energy regulators hosted an official side-event at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen. The event highlighted that electricity Smart Grids and "smart regulation" can help implement climate change objectives. Panellists presented smart grid experiences from the EU (Una Shortall, CEER and Per Hallberg, Eurelectric), US (Mrs. Dian Grueneich,Californian regulator) and China(Mr. Fuqiang Yang, WWF China).
The development of zero and low-carbon emitting electricity generation will play a key role in meeting climate change objectives. But, today’s electricity transmission and distribution networks were not built to properly integrate the large amounts of this new generation or the demand (customer) response needed.
Should we simply fix what's broken, as we reinforce the electricity grid to take account of climate change actions, or should we prepare for a smarter future? In short, electricity grids must evolve into Smart Grids.
Smart electricity grids help fight climate change by requiring grid operators to make use of technologies and solutions to better plan and run their electricity grids; intelligently controlling generation (including facilitating a higher penetration of renewables) and enabling new energy services, and a better consumer response either in terms of better managing consumption or acting as producers themselves (see FactSheet for some concrete examples such as plug-in electrical vehicles).
The FactSheet also explains what smart grids are (and are not), how they relate to smart metering and how smart grids (when combined with smart regulation) can help meet the EU's climate change objective.