London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- January 25, 2011 - The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the regulator Ofgem are to establish a smart grid advisory body to advise on the ongoing development of the nation’s networks and the challenges and opportunities that will arise.

The Smart Grid Forum, which will be co-chaired by the DECC and Ofgem, is envisaged to consist of around 15 people from within the energy industry as well as from technology providers, large customers, academics and other bodies working on smart grid related issues – the aim being to ensure that the different aspects of smart grid development are represented on the Forum, while keeping it small enough to allow it to operate effectively.

Duties of the Forum will be to:

  • Identify future challenges for electricity networks and system balancing, including current and potential barriers to efficient deployment of smart grids
  • Guide the actions that DECC/Ofgem are taking to address future challenges, remove barriers and aid efficient deployment
  • Identify actions that DECC/Ofgem, the industry or other parties could be taking to facilitate the deployment of smart grids
  • Facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge between key parties, including those outside the energy sector
  • Help all stakeholders better understand future developments in the industry that they need to be preparing for
  • Track smart grid developments and their drivers, and
  • Track smart grid initiatives in Europe and elsewhere.

The Forum will be required to take ownership of the smart grid vision and routemap developed by the Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG) and consider the need for further iterations of these documents.

The Forum is expected to hold its first meeting in March, and to hold at least two further meetings during 2011. Thereafter the Forum will compile a report of its findings, and the actions undertaken by DECC and Ofgem, early in 2012. This report will also recommend a way forward for the Forum.