Is everyone getting Smart to Smart Cities?

  1. Smart Cities and Horizon 2020?

Smart cities are high on the agenda for the Europe 2020 Initiative which proposes the use of digital and telecommunication technologies within smart cities to increase sustainability and decrease environmental impact. This will in turn provide better public services, better use of resources and increased efficiencies through the use of alternative networks and supplies of electricity, heating, water etc. Our cities will become more interactive and responsive, and (in theory) more efficient as a result. Read more of this post

Smart Grids Market Summary – France

Bird & Bird continues its series of smart grids market summaries, this time focusing on France. The summary looks at:

  • The market today: including plans to replace 35 million traditional electricity meters with smart meters over the next 6 years.
  • Looking ahead: including plans to reform current regulations and develop a skilled labour pool to aid the development of smart grids.
  • What to watch: including aiming to create 10,000 new jobs in the smart grids sector by 2020.

Smart Grids Market Summary_France_06.15_V4

German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy publishes key points for several new ordinances on smart meters

A new article relating to the above has been posted on the German Energy Blog – click here for more information

Smart Grids Market Summary – Sweden

Bird & Bird have published a further summary in its series on smart grids. This summary focuses upon:

  • The market today: including the establishment of a Coordination Council for Smart Grids and the almost complete installation of smart meters in Swedish households.
  • What to watch: including an electricity market in transformation and the development of a political framework for smart grids.
  • Looking ahead: including infrastructure development and the Coordination Council’s report.

Smart Grids Market Summary – Sweden

German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy publishes a new support programme “Showcase Smart Energy – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition”

A new article relating to the above has been posted on the German Energy Blog – click here for more information.

Smart Grids Market Summary – The Netherlands

Bird & Bird have published a new market summary in its ongoing series. This summary focuses upon:

  • The market today: the development and implementation of Smarter Grids, including 31 ongoing smart grid projects.
  • What to watch: including reducing CO2 emissions and the roll-out of smart meters.
  • The long-term picture: including developing one integrated smart grid by 2030.

Smart Grids Market Summary – The Netherlands

Smart Grid Market Summary – Spain

Bird & Bird have published a further market summary in its new series. This summary focuses upon:

  • The market today: including plans for the development and implementation of Smarter Grids.
  • What to watch: including anticipated investment in Smart Grids in Spain over the next decade.
  • The long-term picture: including the projected timeline for the installation of Smart Meters.

Click here to view

JRC publish updated inventory of smart grid and metering projects in Europe

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has published an updated inventory of smart grid and metering projects in Europe for 2014.

The inventory identifies 459 projects launched from 2002 onwards, amounting to over €3 billion in investments. Interactive visualisation tools allow users to generate customised graphs, charts and maps.

The JRC have also published a 153 page report, which addresses topics such as:

  • an overview of projects in Europe (including project maturity, scale, geographical distribution and budget range)
  • sources of funding
  • details of who is investing and of multinational collaboration
  • projects started in 2013-2014
  • progress of smart meter deployment
  • insight into smart customer projects.

The inventory and associated report are sure to prove a useful resource for those interested in smart grid projects in EU states (plus Switzerland and Norway). For example, the report shows that 42 smart grid projects started in 2013 with a total investment of around €415 million.

For further detail see Smart Grid Projects Outlook 2014. Readers may also be interested in Bird & Bird’s on-going series of EU and other smart grid market summaries.

European IPR Helpdesk publishes Horizon 2020 fact sheet: IP Management at the Grant Preparation Stage

The European IPR Helpdesk has published a further fact sheet on intellectual property (“IP”) management for Horizon 2020 projects.

Horizon 2020 is an EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (from 2014 to 2020). It has been set up to facilitate research moving more quickly to market and strengthen Europe’s economic competiveness. Much of the funding will be available to those working in areas related to smart grids. Further background on Horizon 2020 is available here. Read more of this post

EU Parliament adopts Resolution on Local and Regional Consequences of Smart Grids and calls for a high standard of data protection and data privacy

A new article relating to the above has been posted on the German Energy Blog – Click here for more information

Czech Data Protection Authority published its Position on Smart Metering

On 15 January 2014, the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection (the “ÚOOÚ“) issued its Position No. 1/2014 on Smart Metering and the Protection of Personal Data (the “Position“).

Despite a finding by the Ministry of Industry and Trade that a national deployment of smart meters would be uneconomical (September 2012), there has been a continued deployment of smarter metering systems in the Czech Republic.  The ÚOOÚ’s position is likely to be of interest to those active in the smart grid market in the Czech Republic and, given the common basis of much European data protection law, those operating in other jurisdictions in Europe and around the world. Read more of this post

French competition authority expresses concerns about government proposals on electricity Demand Side Response

On 13 January 2014, the French competition authority published an opinion on the subject of proposed secondary legislation setting out the rules for electricity Demand Side Response. The French competition authority was not convinced that a consumer surcharge to subsidise DSR would achieve the desired effect. It also made a number of recommendations to ensure fairness among DSR providers.

Click here to read more.

Bird & Bird have published the third in a new series of market summaries focused on the Slovak Republic

This summary focuses upon:

  • The market today: including plans to roll-out electricity smart meters.
  • What to watch: including an overview of forthcoming smart meter trials.
  • The long-term picture: including the 2013 draft Slovak Power Industry Policy.

Click here to view –  SmartGrid Slovak Republik 01 2014

Bird & Bird’s Ronald Hendrikx joins Westminster eForum to discuss challenges for intelligent infrastructure

Ronald Hendrikx

Ronald Hendrikx is a partner in our commercial group.

The Westminster eForum today held a Keynote Seminar on Smart Living. The meeting heard the thoughts of political and industry leaders on a variety of topics including the smart home opportunity, the potential for smart meters to play a role in building a more connected home and the related topics of smart cities and connected cars.

Key messages from the meeting highlighted the need to provide solutions that are simple, flexible, reliable, trusted and fulfil basic needs. A representative of a major utility outlined the benefits they had seen in consumer uptake of smart services from using a dedicated, focused awareness campaign around smart meters.  Other speakers suggested that smart meters may become the central hub of a smart home, but that industry and regulators need to take note of the security aspects of the meters and the translation of meter data into information that consumers understand and can react to. Read more of this post

Smart Grid Market Summary – European Union

Bird & Bird have published the second in a new series of market summaries focused on the EU.

This summary focuses upon:

  • The market today: including drivers of the EU’s commitment to smart grids.
  • What to watch: including an overview of smart grid projects within the EU.
  • The long-term picture: including the continued importance of policy choices by individual member states.

Click here to view – Smart Grid EU Summary

European Commission issues guidance on state intervention in electricity markets

On 5 November 2013 the European Commission (‘EC’) released its guidance to Member States on the role of state intervention in internal electricity markets in the form of an EC Communication:

EC Communication – “Delivering the internal electricity market and making the most of public intervention”

The EC Communication recognises that whilst state intervention may be necessary to ensure that the European internal electricity market works efficiently, it is important to define the role, level and nature of such intervention. The EC Communication sets out a number of key issues for Member States to address in relation to justifying state intervention, as well as giving guidance on how intervention may be made more effective and efficient. Read more of this post

EU Commission only selects two smart grid projects for first PCI list

On 14 October 2013 the European Commission released its first ‘projects of common interest‘ (‘PCI’) list. Of the 248 projects named, only two were smart grid projects.

What is the PCI list?

The PCI list, which will be updated every two years, represents those projects which the European Commission has decided should receive additional support as part of its on-going ambition to advance Europe’s energy market. The Commission’s press release explains that for a project to be eligible it must be capable of generating significant benefits for a minimum of two Member States and contribute to competition and market integration. It must also enhance the security of energy supplies for such Member States and be in line with Europe’s low carbon/reducing emissions objectives. Read more of this post

Bird & Bird advises the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change on national roll out of smart gas and electricity meters

Bird & Bird is pleased to announce that it has been advising the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on the procurement of a series of major contracts on behalf of industry worth £2.2bn as part of DECC’s Smart Metering Implementation Programme.

Providing for the roll out of 53m gas and electricity smart meters to homes and small businesses across Great Britain, the Smart Metering Implementation Programme is the most significant change in the British energy market since the conversion to North Sea gas in the 1970s. Most households in Britain will have smart meters installed by 2020.

Read more of this post

FSR Energy Encyclopaedia published

The Florence School of Regulation (FSR) unveiled an online Energy Encyclopaedia this week.  The Encyclopaedia has over 50 entries covering the following topics:

  • Electricity;
  • Gas;
  • Grids;
  • Energy Policy;
  • Climate Change;
  • Security of Supply;
  • Renewables; and
  • Regulation.

We believe that our readers, including those who may have a limited background in energy regulation, will find this an excellent source of useful and high quality information.

Article by Adam Gillert on “Smart grids, dumb risks” published in Utility Week

Adam Gillert is an associate in Bird & Bird’s Commercial Group and has worked across a range of projects in regulated sectors.

Adam Gillert warns that whilst much effort is focused on “smart” threats to smarter grids,
energy companies need to remain focused on much more  mundane risks.

Click here to view the article.