Implementing the smart grid presents several challenges requiring coordination and collaboration between many industries. SmartGrid GB is designed to provide government with policy advice and suggestions on how the smart grid can be best delivered. The establishment of the group was led by the trade association Intellect, which represents the UK’s technology sector, along with key stakeholders from the utilities industry.
Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, says the implementation of the smart grid “will be of critical importance to the UK’s future. It will be essential for meeting our future energy demands, ensuring our energy supply remains secure and resilient, and reducing our overall carbon emissions. Making the smart grid a reality is therefore absolutely essential for the UK and a top priority for government. To make the smart grid happen we need to bring people and organizations together. We need to understand all of the possibilities available and set out a common vision of what can be achieved, and we need to ensure that ongoing actions are effectively coordinated. That is why I am delighted that the industry has come together to form this new forum and why my department is committed to working closely with Smart Grid GB.”
The goal of the smart grid is to add more intelligence and efficiency to the power network and what is connected to it.
Intellect’s Robert McNamara explains, “Developing a smart grid is vital if the UK is to fully exploit the exciting developments in electric cars, micro generation, smart metering and meet our carbon reduction targets. Success in smart grid will create new jobs and drive innovation.”
IBM executive Gavin Jones, who is also acting Chair of SmartGrid GB, adds: “The implementation of a smart grid in Britain is crucial for the future competitiveness of the British economy. SmartGrid GB will serve as a national champion for the development of smart grid in Britain. We can’t afford to fall behind our competitors. We will set out an ambitious and challenging vision and develop a plan of how we get there. It will bring together the best minds and best ideas and provide a step-change in our engagement with government. This really is a call to arms.”
SmartGrid GB’s founding members are: Alcatel-Lucent, British Gas, Cable & Wireless, General Electric, IBM, Intellect, Logica, npower, Oracle, Power Plus Communications, SAP, Siemens, UK Power Networks, and Utilisoft.