Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Germany Increases Energy Research by 75 percent to 3.5 Billion Euros

The German government announced the other day that it will spend much more research money into the development of a clean energy delivery system. The government will spend 3.500.000.000 Euros ($4.9 billion) into research for renewable generation, higher energy efficiency, energy storage and grid-technology in the next three years (2011-2014).

Click HERE for the press release [in German only]

It is very likely that a reasonable part of this money will be spend for the IT infrastructure needed for the many applications of future power delivery system. There are at least two stable solutions that have to be taken into account: (1) the electrical system (A.C. and D.C.) and (2) the IP infrastructure. The future power system will be based on these corner stones. The electrical system will be supported by myriads of new intelligent controllers of the power resources (renewable, storage, …) and new controllers of the grid (transmission and distribution) – and many of the controllers need to work (communicate over Ethernet and TCP/IP) together and being supervised by other controllers, which are part of the overall control of the power system …

The international standard series IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, IEC 61968/70 (CIM), IEC 60870-6 (ICCP), … are here to help that the dream of the German government becomes true. Without these standards, the future power delivery system would be a nightmare with hundreds of proprietary communication solutions.

Many more companies in Germany and Europe are starting to put their hands on the standards IEC 61850 and IEC 61400-25 to be prepared for the future power delivery system in 2011. More than 20 companies will have received an in-house course on IEC 61850 and other IEC standards by Karlheinz Schwarz by end of 2011, and he will have run about an additional 10 public courses this year.

There is a lot to be done – let’s get started or continue dealing with the IT infrastructure using IEC standards.

Of course: The IT infrastructure is just a vehicle for the future power delivery system. There is much more to do than to communicate. By applying already available standards it saves a lot of R&D money that should better be spend on questions like, “What does demand response really mean?”

Click HERE for a nice paper that discusses questions like: “What happens with the electrical system if a huge number of customers start their dishwashers, washing machines, stoves, AC, … at the same time after a real-time price information has been received by the consumers?” Could they behave in a way to cause power outages? May be …

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