Towards Smarter Cities and Smarter Grids

Smart cities will be better able to meet the increasing energy needs and environmental challenges in urban environments.

Towards Smarter Cities and Smarter Grids

Advancing urban environments and the best use of energy.

By 2050, it is projected that the world population will reach 9.6 billion(1). Moreover if current trends continue, 67% of these people are predicted to be living in cities. Hand-in-hand with these projections comes the need for sustainable, reliable solutions for the transmission, distribution and use of energy resources. Smart Cities and Smart Grids, underpinned by the work of the IEC, offer robust responses to the myriad of challenges that regulators, utilities, local, regional and national governments face today and in the future.

Invisible but vital role

They will also offer improved quality of life for the millions of city-dwellers worldwide. Many services in cities and buildings are directly or indirectly dependent on electricity and electronics. The most obvious is the electric infrastructure that carries electricity to and within buildings, and to other utilities such as water, gas and telecommunications.

Transportation systems, medical facilities, shopping centres, schools and factories all depend upon electricity to function, and this list is almost endless. As electricity and electronics are the key enablers of cities’ development, IEC has a specific role to play in the development of International Smart City Standards.

The way ahead

For Smart Grid applications, the IEC published a Smart Grid Standardization Roadmap in 2010 and has defined a range of Standards, among them Standards for substation control (IEC 61850), energy (IEC 61970) and distribution management (IEC 61968) and meter reading (IEC 62056).

The CIM (Common Information Model) for Distribution and Energy Management (IEC 61970 family of Standards) provides a CIM necessary for exchanges of data between devices and networks, primarily in the transmission (IEC 61970) and distribution (IEC 61968) domains, and is a cornerstone of IEC Smart Grid standardization.

A bird’s eye view of Smart Grid Standards

The IEC has developed a free online system which can position a given Standard in relation to its role within the Smart Grid, IEC Smart Grid Standards Map.

The IEC’s first Systems Committee, SyC Smart Energy, has recently been established, following approval by IEC National Committees. The scope of the SyC Smart Energy is to provide systems-level standardization, coordination and guidance across Smart Grid and Smart Energy, including interaction in the areas of heat and gas. It will widely consult to provide overall systems-level support and guidance to the TCs and other standards development groups, both inside and outside the IEC.

This post is based on an IEC e-tech article first published in November 2014, which can be found here.

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