The International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) creates a mechanism through which stakeholders from around the world can collaborate to accelerate the development and deployment of smarter electric grids. ISGAN promotes a dynamic exchange of knowledge and best practices, tool development, and project coordination. It aims to improve the understanding and adoption of smart grid technologies, practices, and systems as well as related enabling government policies.
A safe, reliable and clean supply of electricity is a key pre-condition for environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. Nevertheless, around the world, electricity grids are under increasing stress as the sources and uses of electric power become progressively more varied and complex. To address this trend, countries are working to modernize their electricity grids to dynamically integrate all sources and uses of electricity in real-time.
In particular, countries are considering or have begun integrating into their power sectors a range of advanced information, sensing, communications, control, and energy technologies and systems, collectively known as the “smart grid.” Effectively deployed, smart grid technologies can improve the reliability and resilience of the grid, enable the large-scale integration of variable renewable power and the dynamic management of electricity demand, and potentially contribute to gigatonne‐scale reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation and use.
ISGAN is formally organized as the Implementing Agreement for a Co-Operative Programme on Smart Grids under an International Energy Agency (IEA) framework.
ISGAN has catalogued more than 100 smart grid projects from 17 countries to share best practices and lessons learned about the development and deployment of smarter, cleaner electric power systems.
ISGAN participants work to improve global understanding of the value that smart grids can offer in addressing electricity grid challenges.
Countries bring diverse drivers and approaches to grid modernization, including improving operational efficiency and system reliability; improving electricity market function; reducing losses; differentiating electricity services for consumers; and integrating a range of energy supply and end use technologies, including plug-in electric vehicles and renewable energy, both transmission-scale and distributed.
Through its activities, ISGAN will pursue the following:
The International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) promotes a dynamic exchange of knowledge and best practices, tool development, and project coordination to improve the understanding and adoption of smart grid solutions as well as related enabling government policies. Current information on ISGAN activities can be found at the ISGAN website, http://iea-isgan.org/.
ISGAN continues to implement a wide range of projects. For instance, participants in ISGAN’s Smart Grid International Research Facility Network continue to evaluate protocols for testing advanced photovoltaic inverter grid functionalities.
The International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) recognizes that smarter, cleaner electric grids are vital for maintaining a reliable, resilient, and secure electricity infrastructure that can meet future demand growth, respond to a growing range of customer power needs, and integrate increasingly diverse energy sources. Smart grids are a key enabler for applying most low-carbon energy technologies, including renewables and demand management measures, and can contribute to gigatonne-scale reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation and use.
The International Energy Agency estimated in Energy Technology Perspectives 2010 that the global deployment of smart grids can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.9–2.2 gigatonnes annually by 2050, equivalent to the annual emissions of 300–730 mid-sized power plants.
Through its activities and cooperative ties with other grid modernization efforts, ISGAN engages governments and key stakeholders to achieve that potential. By working together, governments can identify common interests and opportunities for cooperation despite the diversity of power sector policy and technology ecosystems globally and persistent differences in national smart grid definitions and approaches. ISGAN’s efforts provide stakeholders with access to valuable lessons learned and best practices from around the world.
Governments can enable the widespread deployment and acceptance of the smart grid by pursuing a variety of smart and complementary activities within five identified areas of emphasis: