Brussels - 30 January 2013

On the occasion of the European Conference on Smart Grid Standardization Achievements, which took place in Brussels this week (on 28 January), the European Standards Organizations – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI – presented the latest results of their joint work to prepare and develop the standards that are needed to accelerate the deployment of the next generation of electricity networks, known as 'Smart Grids'.

The European Conference on Smart Grid Standardization Achievements was organized by the European Commission (DG ENERGY) in Brussels on 28 January, in partnership with the three European Standards Organizations (ESOs) – CEN (European Committee for Standardization), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute).

The Conference was opened by Günther Oettinger, the EU Commissioner responsible for Energy, who spoke about the importance of standardization for developing the new generation of electricity networks, known as 'Smart Grids'. He welcomed the fact that the responsible authorities as well as the competent standards organizations in Europe are cooperating closely with their counterparts in other parts of the world, including North America.

The main purpose of the conference was to disseminate and discuss the results of the work carried out by CEN, CENELEC and ETSI in response to requests issued by the European Commission to develop standards for Smart Grids (under EC mandate M/490) and Smart Metering (M/441), as well as the charging of electric vehicles (M/468).

Speaking on behalf of the three ESOs, Tore Trondvold, CENELEC President, reminded the Conference that "standards help to promote innovative products and services by building confidence among industrial users and consumers and creating large-scale markets".

The chairpersons of the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart Grid Coordination Group (Ralph Sporer), CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart Meters Coordination Group (Daniel Hec) and CEN-CENELEC eMobility Coordination Group (David Dossett) presented the accomplishments of their respective groups. They underlined the fact that standards supporting current industry applications are in many cases either already available or being developed on the basis of best practices and 'state-of-the-art' technologies. These standards play a crucial role in the successful integration of innovative technologies in complex systems such as Smart Grids.

Addressing the closing session, Luis Jorge Romero, Director General of ETSI, said that the successful work done by the three ESOs shows how much can be achieved when different companies and other stakeholders work together. A great diversity of interested parties have joined forces to agree common standards and avoid market fragmentation.

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The three European Standards Organizations (ESOs) are: CEN (European Committee for Standardization), CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute).

The ESOs have been tasked by the European Commission (under standardization mandate M/490 – published on 1 March 2011) to deliver (a) a technical reference architecture and (b) a set of consistent standards to support the exchange of information and the integration of all operators within the system, as well as (c) sustainable standardization processes and collaborative tools to enable stakeholder interaction. Furthermore, the ESOs have also been asked to investigate standards for information security and data privacy encompassing harmonized high level requirements.

The European Commission’s policy in this area is set out in the communication ‘Smart Grids: from innovation to deployment’ (published in April 2011). According to the Commission, smart electricity grids should reduce CO2 emissions by 9% and household energy consumption by 10%. They will also facilitate the expansion of renewable energy including de-centralized micro-generation of electricity using solar panels (photovoltaic) and wind turbines. Smart grids therefore have a crucial role to play in enabling the EU to reach the targets of its integrated energy and climate change policy (adopted in December 2008).

The ESOs have set up a Smart Grid Coordination Group (SG-CG) with four working groups focusing on the main elements of the mandate. In 2012, the SG-CG produced reports on: Reference Architecture; a First Set of Consistent Standards; Sustainable Processes; and Information security and data privacy. The group has also produced a Framework Document, which provides an overview of the activities and describes how the different elements fit together as to provide the consistent framework for Smart Grids.

The work on Smart Grids (under mandate M/490) is being coordinated with other standardization work that is currently underway in relation to Smart Meters and electric vehicles (under mandates M/441 and M/468 respectively) so as to ensure a coherent framework. The SG-CG is also collaborating with several international and regional standards organizations, with the aim of working towards common international standards for smart grids.

For more information on standardization activities related to Smart Grids, please see