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ETNO Workshop "Towards a low carbon economy: Broadband Networks and Smart Grids at the crossroad between ICT and Energy"
Brussels, Belgium 23 November 2011
Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

I would like to thank ETNO for the invitation to speak here today.

ETNO members are mostly ITU members and ETNO has been very active in ITU over many years.

I had the pleasure of celebrating ETNO’s 15th anniversary and I hope I will be able to celebrate another anniversary soon!

Next year is a busy year in ITU starting with the World Radiocommunication Conference and ending with the World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly and the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).

WCIT will be the first revision of the only international treaty on international telecommunications since 1988. Clearly there is a lot of updating needed. It is something that ETNO members I am sure will want to contribute to.

Turning to our ITU’s standardization work we have three main objectives:
To develop interoperable, non-discriminatory, international standards

To assist in bridging the standardization gap between developed and developing countries

To extend and facilitate international cooperation among international and regional standardization bodies.
Let me expand on the first objective, as it is the most relevant in terms of today’s discussion.

ITU is in the business of producing international standards, not national or regional standards but standards that can be implemented on a world-wide basis. This means they have to have been accepted by the world community and to do this it means we must satisfy the requirements of the full ITU membership: 193 governments and over 700 private sector entities.

Over the last few years we have seen that governments and industry leaders worldwide are coming together with a new urgency to drive an overhaul of the old grid infrastructure.

International standards will be an absolute necessity in driving the global implementation of this revolutionary technology.

Estimates of the economics of smart grids are astounding. According to a report from Pike Research, cumulative global spending will reach $200 billion on Smart Grid technologies during the period from 2008 to 2015.

Another report, commissioned by the US Department of Energy, estimates that by making the grid smart, and reaching 100 % penetration of smart grid technologies, the annual electric energy use and utility sector carbon emissions in the US could be reduced by at least 12 % by 2030.

In 2008 President Obama’s administration earmarked funds to deploy 40 million smart meters.

Beside Europe and North America there is major initiatives in China, Japan and Korea.

But Smart Grid is not only for developed countries. Developing countries can also profit. In 2009, according to the World Energy Outlook 2010 by the International Energy Agency, an estimated 585 million people had no access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. That figure is expected to rise significantly by 2030 to about 652 million — an unsustainable and unacceptable situation. Smart grid technology offers the opportunity for developing countries to jump several generations of technology.

I am pleased to report that we have been very successful with our second objective tom include more developing countries in our standardization work. Over the last four years more than 40 countries have begun participating in our work that did not in 2007, and this year alone has seen 16 countries participating for the first time.

In the absence of international standards, there is a risk that diverse Smart Grid technologies will become prematurely obsolete or, worse, not interoperable or be implemented without adequate security measures. Given that some Smart Grid devices, such as smart meters, are moving beyond the pilot stage into large-scale deployment, there is a need for urgent and coordinated action to develop global open standards.

When speaking of open standards I mean standards which are developed and maintained through a collaborative, consensus-driven process that is open to participation by all relevant and affected parties, and not dominated by a single organization or group of organizations. As important, the standards resulting from the standardization process should be readily and reasonably available to all. Since 2007 I am pleased to say all ITU standards are available for downloading free of charge from our website.

At the 2010 meeting of the ITU Chief Technology Officers Group (consisting of over 20 CTOs of major companies) called on ITU to take an active role in the area of smart grids especially in the areas where ITU has particular strength: cybersecurity; network communications; and ubiquitous sensor networks.

In terms of cybersecurity, standards will ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the electronic information communication systems and the control systems necessary for the management, operation, and protection of the Smart Grid infrastructure.

Wired and wireless network communications relies on ITU standards which includes identification and performance metrics, core operational requirements for public and private communication networks.

ITU also develops standards for Ubiquitous Sensor Networks, which can be used for monitoring and display of power-system components and performance over large geographic areas in near real time.

ITU-T G.hn – the international standard for home networking, supports networking over phone lines, coaxial cables, and power lines.

Because G.hn can operate over any type of wire (including power lines), it can provide the communication infrastructure required for Smart Grid applications in residential, commercial and industrial environments.

Given the number of global stakeholders involved, Smart Grid standards should be developed and implemented internationally, whenever practical.

This is one of the reasons that at the 2010 meeting of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at the recommendation of the CTO Group initiated ITU-T work on Smart Grids, by establishing a Focus Group on the issue.

Focus Groups allow quick development of specifications in chosen areas; and crucially participation is open to any interested party which allows participation from all stakeholders… including in this case utilities.

Collaboration is essential to avoid duplication of effort, and we have made a great effort in this area to work with all the major international, regional and national standards bodies. More than 25 related organizations were invited to the first meeting of the Focus Group, including ETSI, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The Focus Group has held eight meetings so far and has been developing five deliverables including the following: Overview, Use cases, Requirements, Architecture, and Terminology.

The next meeting will take place in Geneva, 18-21 December 2011 to finalise these deliverables and present them during the ITU Workshop on "Cloud Computing and Smart Grid" which will be held in Geneva on 9 January 2012 and then to TSAG meeting 10-13 January 2012 to decide on the conversion of the deliverables into formal ITU standards.

I would very much welcome the participation of your experts in these meetings and in particular the workshop, and closer collaboration between the ITU and ETNO in this area.

ITU is also placing much emphasis on the roll out of broadband with the establishment of the Broadband Commission. This high level commission will raise the profile of this issue and has many leading participants including European Commissioner Ms Neelie Kroes.

Urban broadband access for everyone will help to create a level playing field of opportunities for the urban under privileged. It will bring more teleworking , video conferencing - lowering carbon footprint. E-health, e-government… Smart water technologies have great potential to reduce disease.

Intelligent transport systems (ITS) can clear our cities of debilitating pollutants and traffic jams. In connected cities you will be directed directly to the nearest available parking space, GPS enabled systems will make traffic flow better and intelligent ambient lighting will appear only when and where it’s needed. ITS can also be applied to public transport, to respond more efficiently to customer needs as well as providing the means for electric cars to act as distributed energy storage in network downtime. In this cross-over area of ICT and Transport, ITU is actively exploring standards and hosts an annual workshop: the Fully Networked Car@Geneva Motor Show and is organizing a meeting of all standards bodies involved in this area in Geneva next month.

Finally ITU has recently agreed a set of methodologies that will give credibility to estimates of the impact of ICTs on greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption will now have much greater credibility. It will also show just how significant a contribution ICTs can make by reducing global emissions in other sectors. Under development is a methodology specific to urban environments. The new methodology is also aligned with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission.

International consensus on standards for climate change mitigation and adaption, environmentally friendly and energy saving technologies, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission accounting and verification, will provide a firm foundation for designers, architects, engineers, developers and government authorities to create sustainable cities.

ITU remains at the forefront of developing these standards and working with our members – the world’s governments and ICT companies – and other partners to ensure that as our population becomes more urban, the role of ICTs in the sustainable development of our cities is both recognised and utilised.

Indeed this will be the message that the ITU delegation will be taking to COP 17 next week. ICTs have a strong role to play in mitigating the effects of and adapting to climate change…

Supported by smart policies, and proper standardization, ICTs can create a fairer, cleaner and more sustainable world.

I look forward to collaborating with you in this area and wish you a successful and enjoyable day.

 

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