Input for the right output

IEC Market Strategy Board

By Gabriela Ehrlich

Report to IEC Council by Enno Liess, IEC Vice-President and MSB (Market Strategy Board) Convenor

For the third time, Enno Liess presented his report on MSB activities to Council Board. And while he has agreed to stay on another year and lend his expertise to the Commission, he has now completed his final term as IEC Vice President.

In his report Liess provided a brief recapitulation of the membership, scope and history behind the MSB (see separate box) before delivering an outline of MSB contributions, recently completed work items and new upcoming projects:

Renewable energy generation needs to be backed up by efficient energy storage

2010 follow-up to White Paper and new Working Groups

Liess underlined that one of the most important MSB recommendations, which was provided for the Masterplan and as part of the MSB White Paper on Smart Electrification, was the need for a systems level approach. In 2010, a special working group under the leadership of Sujeet Chand, CTO of Rockwell, was established in order to propose a framework for the development of application standards and conformity assessment services. The group’s recommendations include the establishment of a systems approach policy as part of the ISO/IEC directives and the elaboration of a set of conformity assessment tools.

Masterplan recommendations

Also in 2010 the MSB was asked to provide its input for the IEC Masterplan. At the June meeting in Stockholm this year, the IEC General Secretary confirmed that several of the recommendations issued by the MSB have been accepted into the Masterplan. Those include the need to involve experienced people in IEC management and operational structures so as to secure highly qualified, market-oriented expertise, and the restructuring of the IEC conformity assessment activities to add the system-level perspective. With regard to the latter, a strategic working group on system level conformity assessment was put in place and one of the first areas of focus is the generation of wind power.

Increasing industry relevance

In order to increase the efficiency with which the IEC prioritizes technical work, a special working group: Technology and Market Watch led by Professor Tomita from Tokyo University was put in place and tasked with setting up a mechanism to help the IEC gather technical and market trend information.

Continue doing what it does best

The special working group Outreach to Consortia led by Dr Donald Deutsch, Vice President at Oracle, organized a workshop with IT industry representatives in 2010 to discuss the pros and cons of consortia and forum standards in this area. Another meeting with different industries was organized in 2011 to collect their views on standards and the role the IEC should occupy in this area. In essence industry representatives recommended that the IEC continue providing what it does best – IEC International Standards – but that it should further improve its processes and raise awareness and participation in its work. These findings were shared with the SMB.

White Paper on Electrical Energy Storage

The biggest project for the MSB in 2011 concerned the development of a new White Paper on Energy Storage under the leadership of Dr Nakamura, former Vice President of Tepco.

One of the things that became immediately obvious when the MSB worked on the first White Paper was how crucially important Electrical Energy Storage would soon become. New renewable power stations are put in service every day, but storage, which is indispensable to accelerate the integration of this energy source into the grid, is often left out.

The MSB identified the need to analyze the role of energy storage in electricity use and identify all available technologies, and their market potential. The White Paper was also to provide market guidance for the work of the IEC in support of this industry.

Crucially important for the adoption of renewable energy

Storage systems not only help smooth out intermittent generation, such as those by wind and the sun, but they also help modulate excessive power fluctuation and undependable power supplies.  They allow storing away excess production during off-peak time, which can then be used during peak demand; this helps make full use of the generation potential and reduces the cost of electricity. Energy Storage also allows to increase the reliability of the network and provides back-up during power failures. Finally in Microgrids and decentralized generation it allows for optimization and planning for local consumption.

Bringing in outside resources for added efficiency

One of the key learnings from the first White Paper was that to speed up the work and make best use of the expertise of participating members it was necessary to add outside resources. That’s why the MSB asked the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems to become involved and coordinate some of the processes. The institute helped organize a workshop, inviting external experts in order to broaden the knowledge base and increase the quality of the work. Experts from relevant IEC TCs and SCs also participated. The institute then wrote the first draft of the project report, which was discussed and amended by the special working group in June.

As a result, the second White Paper of the MSB Electrical Energy Storage was completed in less than 10 months and was presented at the General Meeting in Melbourne.

New project on integration of large-scale batteries and renewables

Dr Yinbao Shu has taken the lead to set up a new special working group on the integration of large-scale energy storage and renewables into the grid. The working group will assess world-wide integration needs; identify trends and related technologies, build the world-wide framework of standards that are needed in this area and develop the relevant roadmap.

This special working group intends to cooperate with a US academic institution, which is to organize and host a workshop similar to the one that was run by the Fraunhofer Institute.

Disaster relief, Microgrids, Nanotechnology

Several other special working groups have now been set up, including one to analyse disaster preparedness and recovery, and two that are tasked with market watch and road mapping activities in the area of Microgrids  and Nanotechnology.

 Over the coming months and years, the MSB will continue to focus on the systems approach. It will also define and build the mechanisms that will allow it to conduct a continuous and effective technology and market watch under the new leadership of Dr Donald Deutsch.

An efficient body – much remains to be done

The MSB is now three years into its existence and the general consensus is that it is an effective body that is doing a good and useful job, providing essential direct market input. Many of the recommendations now need to be put in place, but there is no doubt that the MSB fills an important function in the IEC.

enno_liess IEC Vice-President and MSB Convenor Enno Liess
solar_PV_farm Renewable energy generation needs to be backed up by efficient energy storage
9783428_l The MSB aims to identify new market trends and stay ahead of industry needs