Deployment of 33,000 LED streetlights is underway in Doncaster, as part of Doncaster Council’s Smartlight project. The streetlights are being installed and managed by Telensa, a firm providing end-to-end smart city solutions using low-power and low-cost wireless technology. Existing streetlights will be replaced by wireless LED luminaires from Urbis Schréder. The system will consist of telecells plugged into each streetlight, connecting wirelessly to a cloud-based control application, via infrequent streetlight-mounted base units.

Flexible and adaptable lighting levels will be monitored to ensure that they are set appropriately and adequately for both the time of night and the area. Power consumption will be accurately recorded for each streetlight, ensuring that the Council only pays for actual energy consumed. Both of these factors together are predicted to cut to the Council’s lighting energy bill by half, delivering £1.3m in savings annually. It will also reduce energy consumption by 8.7m kW hours and carbon emissions by 4700 carbon tonnes. Streetlight delivery can be centrally evolved over the whole of their 25 year life expectancy.

Doncaster is not the only city to be deploying an LED streetlight initiative. Many County Councils across the UK have already started to replace old street lights with new LED lights, not only to save costs but also to decrease light pollution and carbon emissions. Nottingham County Council are replacing all low pressure sodium lanterns with LED lanterns over a four year period, decreasing running costs by 60%. Plymouth City Council are investing £8 million in replacing all of their street lights with LED lights, in expectation of achieving a 70% reduction in energy use and carbon emissions. Herefordshire Council are in the final stages of converting their 9000 streetlights to LED lights, expected to save £13 million in energy and maintenance costs over 20 years.

Establishing this wireless network will also help to future-proof the city. The Telensa wireless network will allow for fast and cost-effective addition of other IoT applications in the future. For example, the streetlights could be used as a communications hub for traffic and air quality measurement sensors, or for control applications for smart parking. Wireless networks such as this will be central to the establishment and functioning of Smart Grids.

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

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.

Low Carbon London Reports Published

After several years’ work, the Low Carbon London project (the Project) led by UK Power Network’s (UKPN) has published its reports.

The £28.3 million Project involved UKPN working with 11 project partners and was funded through Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund together with £6.6 million from UKPN and other sources. Focusing on trailing and demonstrating a wide range of potential smart approaches in the Greater London area, the Project has generated a large store of data and knowledge that will be of immense interest to those involved in smart grids and which should especially hold valuable learnings for other urban areas. Read more of this post

Government releases report on Internet of Things, highlights energy as a key sector

On 18 December 2014 the UK Government released the much anticipated review by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser into how the UK can exploit the potential of the “Internet of Things” (the Review). Energy was one of 5 key sectors highlighted in the Review as well as by the Prime Minister in his foreword to it. The Review recommends 10 actions for government to maximise the opportunities and reduce the risks of these new technologies which will be of interest to those following Smart Grids in the UK. Read more of this post

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

Bird & Bird assist SmartGrid GB with response to DECC consultation on Electricity Market Reform


SmartGrid GB, with assistance from Bird & Bird, today published their response to the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform: Consultation on Proposals for Implementation (the “Consultation“), focusing upon the role of Demand Side Response (“DSR“) in the Capacity Market.

SmartGrid GB is an independent, cross-industry stakeholder group acting as the national champion for smart grid development in Britain. For SmartGrid GB members, one of the most immediately eye-catching parts of the Capacity Market design was the focus it places on DSR, a core aspect of smart grid development. Read more of this post

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

Bird & Bird attend ENA event

On 14 October 2013, the Energy Networks Association (“ENA“) held a seminar to highlight recent work on the so-called Transform model (“Transform“) and also the release of a report in April 2013 that provided an overview of updates to that model and of conclusions drawn. Transform was developed through the DECC/Ofgem Smart Grid Forum and is designed to assist DNOs in evaluating the benefits of smart grid investments, as opposed to taking a business as usual approach. Read more of this post

SmartGrid GB’s latest report on consumer opportunities is now available on-line

SmartGrid GB’s latest report Smart grid: a great consumer opportunity –  Ensuring smart grid delivers value to all consumers is now available.

The report was produced by SmartGrid GB in association with Engage Consulting Limited and follows just a few months after SmartGrid GB, with the assistance of Bird & Bird, published an initial report on Demand Side Response in the Capacity Market which touches on many related issues.

Whilst recognising that Britain is currently a world leader in smart grid development, the latest report acknowledges that engaging consumers is one of the most challenging propositions in the GB smart grid agenda.   Read more of this post

New initiative to support Smart Energy and Smart Cities in the UK

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (“BIS“) announced today the launch of their new Smart Cities Forum, which aims to help UK cities take advantage of intelligent technology and data designed to enhance the quality of life in urban environments and improve energy efficiency, minimise environmental impacts and save money.  The forum will be chaired by Greg Clark, the minister for cities, and David Willetts, the minister for universities and science. The forum will also include scientists and representatives from cities and business sectors. 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.

Bird & Bird publishes response to UK Government’s call for evidence on UK information economy strategy

In February 2013 the UK Government issued a call for views and evidence in relation to the UK’s Information Economy Strategy.

The strategy aims to promote growth of the ‘information economy’, which is broadly defined as: “Digital technologies and information combining to drive productivity and create new growth opportunities across the whole economy.” The call for evidence encompassed five key areas considered likely to provide real growth opportunities in the sector where the UK Government is keen to obtain input and evidence from market parties: Smart cities, cloud computing, the internet of things, big data and e-commerce, the common theme being that there is a “critical role for the software, IT services and telecommunications services sectors to play in bringing growth opportunities to fruition”.

The response period has now closed.

Readers are invited to read a version of Bird & Bird’s response to the Consultation here. Response to UK Information Economy Consult.