Smart Grid, the energy transition and the future of the industry [Press Releases]

November 2, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Singapore, 2 November 2011 – The inaugural Asia Smart Grid 2011 conference and exhibition opened today, with a keynote presentation delivered by the Managing Director of KEMA’s Asia Pacific Operations, Mr. Willem Van Putten. Established more than 83 years ago, KEMA is a global and leading authority in energy consulting and testing and certification and is active in the entire energy value chain, from fuels and power generation; policy and regulation; system operations to distribution and customer management processes.

In his speech, Mr. Van Putten outlined the current challenges for the energy sector – reduction of energy use; efficient use of fossil fuels and the integration and increased use of renewable energy sources. He highlighted that in Europe the transition to a sustainable energy system has just started. In an OECD/IEA 2009 report, it was projected that renewable energy sources (RES) will account for 37% of the world’s electricity generation by 2030. It is therefore clear that market penetration of RES will still need some time before it becomes entrenched as an alternative source of energy. He highlighted that this energy transition will cause major changes in the power systems that we are familiar with today, which will be accompanied by some level of uncertainty and markets will therefore need to develop new mechanisms to manage these changes. The transformation of the grid will also bring about new opportunities for businesses and will also spur growth in the development and deployment of new technologies and related products.

At another Keynote delivered on the same day, Mr. Kiyoshi Sawaki, Director of the Information Economy Division of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) also shared insights on the smart community initiatives that forms part of Japan’s new energy policy moving forward, especially and mainly in part due to the various lessons learnt from the Fukushima earthquake and the related nuclear power plant incident. Mr. Sawaki highlighted that the 2010 Strategic Energy Plan of Japan articulates the fundamental direction of the country’s energy policy, with a key element being the fundamental change in Japan’s energy and demand system by 2030. An important and key aspect of the change is the share increase of new renewable energy sources in the Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) from the current 6.1% to 10% by 2020. He also highlighted several key smart grid related pilot projects within Japan.

Throughout the first day of the conference, speakers from the industry shared their insights and views on topics relating to policy and regulation, case studies on successful implementation of smart metering systems, automated demand response systems and integration of renewables into a smart grid system. The highlight of the conference’s second day will be the country focus session, which will provide key lessons learnt from the pilot projects of Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

Themed “Insights on Growth Opportunities and Best Practices for the Asian Smart Grid”, the Asia Smart Grid 2011 conference looked at the trends in smart grid industry, discussed implementation challenges and expectations, financing and investment outlook and shared best practices from Japan, Korea and Singapore, over the one-and-a-half day conference.

To further enhance participants’ understanding of smart grid, the participants visited Singapore’s Experimental Power Grid Centre in Jurong Island. The Experimental Power Grid Centre is a programme within ICES / A*STAR, with the mission to undertake research and development activities in defined core areas for intelligent and decentralized power distribution, interconnection and utilization, and to promote quick adoption and implementation of innovative technologies.

The importance of smart grid to enhance energy efficiency, security and reliability was the main thrust of the launch of Asia Smart Grid 2011 conference and exhibition. According to International Energy Agency’s (IEA) smart grid roadmap, the development of smart grid is essential for achieving energy security, economic development and climate change mitigation. Peak demand of energy will increase between 2010 and 2050 in all regions. The deployment of smart grid could reduce that increase in demand by 13-24%.

Alongside the conference is the exhibition organized by Reed Exhibitions to provide a business platform for smart grid providers and suppliers to network and share knowledge with Asia’s policymakers, regulators, utilities firms and system integrators.

Ms Louise Chua, Project Director of Asia Smart Grid commented, “Together, the conference and exhibition provides a great learning and networking opportunity for the industry players to get to know each other. The sharing of case studies and best practices provided the participants with real issues and solutions, whilst the exhibition provides a face-to-face interaction and networking opportunity for the industry.”

The first edition of the event saw participation from international players such as Accenture, eMeter, Panasonic, NEC, Sanyo and ST Electronics. Interestingly, Singapore SME’s are also very much involved in smart grid. At the Singapore Pavilion, these home-grown companies will be showcasing systems to track energy efficiency, smart meters, testing equipment, fuel cell power generator, system integration and energy management software.

Asia Smart Grid 2011 is part of the Singapore International Energy Week 2011, organized by EMA.

More information on Asia Smart Grid 2011 can be found at www.asiaSMARTgrid.com.sg

Source: Asia Smart Grid

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