The Smart Grid Forum’s Vision and Routemap was published in February 2014. It identified a number of actions to be pursued in the areas of technological innovation and growth. In particular, it proposed that the Smart Grid Forum (SGF) should explore ways in which it could help development of the UK’s energy system supply chain to enable it to gain access to and benefit from smart grid opportunities presented both in the UK and overseas. Work Stream 9 (WS9) has been formed to do this.
WS9 is committed to bringing together all those stakeholders who have an interest in, and will benefit from, growth and innovation in the UK’s smart grid supply chain. It will look to these members to address issues of common interest that will reduce barriers and expand opportunities.
In undertaking its work the work stream will apply flexibility in the definition of “smart grid”, but intends that it will address matters that support effective supply chain response to the challenges of the energy trilemma of sustainability, security of supply and affordability for all. It is expected to focus on the electricity vector, but will where appropriate consider the touch points with other vectors.
WS9 believes that two key prerequisites for a healthy supply chain are a shared sense of direction and a clear understanding of how to engage. In supply chain terms this means, for example, that common standards need to be in place so that products and services can be developed with confidence, knowing that they will be compatible with the market over extended time periods. It also means that suppliers and potential suppliers of differing scale and specialism can gain access to the supply chain with reasonable expectation of a viable outcome.
WS9 will build on key outcomes from other SGF work streams and will deliver a programme of work over the coming months.