Many new market trends in the energy domain

The smartness of many Energy infrastructures will further increase certainly at the regional and distribution level of the networks. Smartening of a grid in general is realized by adding communication and by adding of advanced monitoring and control to the conventional energy infrastructures. In many cases the interfaces of customers connected to the grid are involved. Experiences with communication, advanced control, management and protection systems are already known from the application in the transmission grids for many decades. Transmission networks are already equipped with advanced communication and control systems.

There is an increasing need to provide much better observability and controllability of the grid and most of the users of the grid : these could be users physically connected to it as well as users partipating to performing grid services either through market-based relationship or with peer-to-peer contracts with the grid operators.

This is translated in new needs to equip local and regional networks with advanced control, data analytics and communication systems, first for managing the grid assets, but as well to exchange with all stakeholders participating in and/or impacted by the management of the grid.

Further increase of communication bandwidth over this time period and the application and new developments in telecommunication media make this possible. This allows for the connection of an extensive number of smart devices and sensors that use regional control and protection facilities. In order to support the simplification of interoperability amongst all devices of the grid, existing standards, and new standards where gaps exist, will be required to cover the following aspects.

  • New ways of monetizing the energy, leading to new energy services
  • Microgrids (including the islandable capabilities but as well a new processes for considering electrification)
  • Electrical Energy Storage technologies
  • Energy Convertor technologies everywhere, possibly going to democratize the use of DC, especially in presence of renewable energies
  • Electrical transportation and vehicle, also to be considered as mobile DER
  • Much higher level of requirement attached to interoperability, especially at semantic level. Leading to consider machine processable semantics, ontologies, crossing domains, zones, and all across the product/system life cycle…
  • Energy sectors coupling – reminding us that electricity is just a vector for conveying energy, but needs as well to participate to the optimization of all kinds of primary energies
  • New telecommunications media developed and applied;
    Advanced protocols that support this greater bandwidth and the plethora of connected objects that need to be connected, and potentially interact
  • IT,OT convergence, including among many the virtualization of the OT level into the IT level, through concept such as the digital twins;
    IoT coupled with extensive Data storage and associated analytics;
  • End to End cyber security to ensure protection and privacy of this data, with possible advanced architecture such as the blockchain one
  • Safety as it applies to smart devices and other modes of operation that differ from the past Active devices connected to the grid and isolated operation of premises/grid subsets

Associated standardization challenges

  • Producing standards for machines which are becoming among the first users of the standards
  • Much higher risk of overlapping between technical entities, as a consequence of some main trends : more intense and new technology coupling (such as PV + storage), new usages of energy especially thanks to storage, IT enabling erasing any differences between local and remote, IT everywhere but enabling an easier identification of common generic parts (for example PV, Wind, Hydro, Storage or EV (when supporting the grid) are all different types of generators, but as generators they should have some common properties and behavior
  • More intense needs of co-ordination within IEC, as the consequence of the above : higher risk of duplication of standardisation works (at best) or discrepencies (at worst), introduction of system approaches with some needed co-ordination roles, and further introduction of systems of systems (like smart cities) making the co-ordination even more difficult
  • More intense needs of co-ordination between IEC and the other standardisation bodies to address this new de-siloed world.