London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- February 18, 2010 - The British Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the regulator Ofgem have published a smart grid routemap comprising a high level description of the way in which a U.K. smart grid could be delivered to contribute to the realization of government carbon targets and end-customer benefits.

The routemap, which was developed by the Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG), is aimed at realizing the U.K.’s smart grid vision (see Smart grid vision for U.K. developed). The focus is on three critical smart grid roles for the nation’s planned low carbon transition up to 2050 – the integration of inflexible generation, the electrification of transport and heating, and the integration of distributed energy resources (DER).

The three high level objectives are carbon reduction, energy security, and economic competitiveness and affordability in delivering a cost effective low carbon transition.

The ENSG believes that it is critical to deliver a range of well targeted pilot projects between 2010 and 2015 in which the feasibility, costs and benefits of smart grid technology can be tested, and in the expectation that many of them will prove to be technically and economically successful and therefore available for U.K.-wide application from 2015 onwards. Further, any smart grid developments must create the right mix of technical, commercial, industry and regulatory changes to overcome a diverse set of challenges.

Accordingly, four tiers of projects and trials have been identified, with increasing customer interaction, value chain integration and commercial/regulatory development required, as the projects types move from tier 1 to tier 4. The four tiers are:

  1. Individual technology, e.g. dynamic line rating
  2. Multiple integrated technologies, e.g. network monitoring, control and optimization
  3. Customer and technology integration, e.g. distributed generation and ultra low carbon vehicles implementation
  4. End-to-end integration, e.g. intelligent conurbation linking all elements of the value chain.

In particular, the ENSG would emphasize a prioritized, coordinated and concerted approach to public engagement, security and data privacy, the development of common and open standards and any identified cross industry changes. Critical also is getting the customer on board as a key participant.

To do this effectively requires linkages across government policy, regulatory development and industry-wide change programs with a particular emphasis on the relationship between smart metering and wider smart grid developments. The smart grid routemap must recognize the smart meter rollout program and respect its timetable.

Given the uncertainty over the precise nature of the U.K.’s future end to end energy system, the routemap is expected to evolve over time.

To view the routemap click here.