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ITU Green Standards Week: Forum on “Boosting Smart Grids through Energy Efficient ICT”

Paris, France, 17 September 2012

Opening Address

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

The enormous challenges of climate change are clearly linked to our energy consumption.

The US Department of Energy estimates that full deployment of Smart Grids could reduce 18% of GHG emissions in the US electricity sector by 2030.

Smart Grids will also create a unique opportunity to extend the electrical grid to regions of the world still “off the grid”.

This morning the Green Standards Week opened with a discussion on how to make cities more smart and sustainable, taking into consideration that cities account for 60-80 per cent of global energy consumption.

I am very pleased to welcome you to this afternoon’s Forum, in which we will discuss the need to integrate strategies on reducing energy use, increasing distributed renewable energy generation, and increasing the intelligence of the grid.

We will also consider how we might develop a strategy that would ensure the necessary collaboration of the ICT sector and electrical utilities sector, this is essential to enable the timely and effective development of international standards for smart grids.

ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) has been working to develop a family of communication standards to enable the cost-effective implementation of smart grid applications.

In support of 2012 as the “International Year for Sustainable Energy for All”, ITU has published a Report on Smart Grids. The report looks at three aspects in particular:

  • Firstly, the importance of ICTs in building smart grids remembering that improving the current electrical system is fundamental to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Secondly, the importance of optimizing the trade-off between the energy saving achievable with ICT infrastructures and the energy consumption of such infrastructures.
  • And finally, the opportunity for Smart Grids to enable developing countries to overcome the obstacles currently preventing their access to electricity.
The main outcome of this report is quite evident: that the design of the communication architectures for smart grids should find the optimal trade-off between performance, redundancy, reliability and energy efficiency.

Prof. Davoli, one of the authors of this report, is here today with us and will provide you with an overview of his report in the keynote address.

ICT standards are clearly needed to provide design guidelines and power-saving requirements for next-generation ICT devices and installations.

ITU-T, and particularly ITU-T Study Group 5, is engaged in the development of international standards in this area. It is essential that this work has a global impact, and in keeping with this rationale, we cooperate with major standardization bodies in both the ICT and electrical fields especially IEC through a group called the Joint Coordination Activity on Smart Grid and Home Networking.

Let me conclude by saying that smart grids and energy efficiency will be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of ITU-T SG5 WP3/5 taking place in Geneva, from 8 to 12 October 2012, and I encourage all of you to contribute to this group’s work towards international smart-grid standards.

So I invite Professor Davoli to give us his address.