Smart Grid Market Summary – India

Bird & Bird have published the fourth in its series of market summaries.

This summary focuses upon:

  • The market today: including India’s roadmap for implementing smart grids.
  • What to watch: including details of smart meter roll out plans.
  • The long-term picture: including key challenges facing the Indian energy sector.

Click here to view – Smart Grid India Summary

DECC releases a consultation on proposed modifications to the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC)

On 9 April 2014 DECC released a consultation on proposed modifications to the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) required as a result of the implementation of Electricity Market Reform (EMR). EMR is designed to provide the framework for the UK energy industry to meet the challenge of maintaining security of supply in the face of increasing demand for electricity while also moving towards low carbon and sustainable generation. Read more of this post

Electricity Settlement Reform – moving to half-hourly settlement

Ofgem recently released a launch statement for electricity settlement reform as part of the Smarter Markets Programme. Electricity settlement is the process to incentivise suppliers and generators to match the amount of energy they buy with the amount used by their customers. Settlement is carried out by monitoring and metering consumers’ energy use as against generators and suppliers (and interconnectors) contracted positions and determining the charges to be paid for any imbalance. At present, a majority of consumers are settled through a process that lasts 14 months, based on estimates of their usage, as most meters are not capable of measuring half hourly energy consumption. However, with the advent of smart metering, consumers will be able to record their half-hourly (HH) consumption, based on the energy they have actually used, rather than relying on estimates. Ofgem now wants to propose the settlement system for this new data as it becomes available. Read more of this post

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

Smart Grid Forum publishes its vision and routemap

The Smart Grid Forum has this week published its Vision and Routemap (“Routemap”) which outlines progress made to date and identifies actions required to realise the potential of smart grids. The Routemap praises the UK’s progress in supporting smart grid trials through the £500 million Low Carbon Network Fund and reflects on the implications of future developments in smart grids for the UK energy system as a whole. Click here to read more on the Smart Grid Forum’s priorities for realising the potential of smart grids in the UK. Read more of this post

Registration Deadline Approaches for £11m Smart Grid Funding Competition

There is just one week left to register for an £11m funding competition for smart grid development. The Technology Strategy Board (TSB), a UK public body primarily accountable to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, launched the funding competition in January to encourage the development of smart grids.  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

DECC publishes Community Energy Strategy

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (“DECC“) today published a strategy paper focusing on the role that communities can play in helping to meet the UK’s energy and climate change challenges (the “Strategy“).  Recognising that much of DECC’s focus has been helping to deliver large national infrastructure projects, the Strategy acknowledges the importance of community led action and the role it can play in helping to tackle difficult energy issues, including the development of smart grids.

The Strategy focuses on a wide variety of community activities, including so called “D3” (demand reduction, demand side response and distributed generation) and includes examples of projects in which communities are helping to shape the development of smart grids. Read more of this post

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 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

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 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

Draft Regulation on the Technical Minimum Requirements for the Use of Smart Measurement Systems Passes European Notification

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