Electricity networks are being transformed into the anticipated “smarter grid”; the early signs are already evident. A reference architecture or framework responds directly to the challenges of complexity and uncertainty that characterise this transformation. The framework, based (as appropriate) on de jure and de facto standards, will help the industry in a number of ways:
- Provides a practical, useful tool that serves near-term requirements while maintaining a sense of the long term
- Provides focussed, summarised access to the relevant parts of the large body of work that exists or is planned within the broad area of smart grids
- Provides a reference point that supports stakeholders in progressing their individual interests in smart grid in keeping with an overall direction that serves sector and national interests
- Provides a vehicle for encouraging the engagement and participation of more parties that can bring innovation to the evolution of the electricity sector
- Provides a means for communicating with stakeholders and others across interested communities
- Provides an “open” architecture into which capabilities can be integrated as identified or when needed – with lower complexity, lower cost and lower risk.
The Smart Grid Reference Architecture produced by the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Smart Grid Coordination Group represents the current state of framework development in Europe. However, there is much more to be done, both to develop the model further and to champion and encourage its adoption and use.