A strategy has been launched in Scotland for a smart grid, creating 12,000 jobs in the sector, and setting out the vision for the country as “an exemplar in smart grid adoption and as a leading international provider of smart technologies and know-how.”
According to the strategy, Scotland is in an excellent position to capitalize on the opportunities which smart grids present, including having a strong reputation in relevant skill sets, a wide range of internationally significant test facilities, and key smart grid demonstrator and pilot projects already in progress.
The key market and technology opportunities are identified as:
- New business models for supplying electricity and additional services
- Customer energy management
- Data acquisition, monitoring and analysis
- Network automation and optimization
- High voltage DC
- Energy storage.
In order to achieve this, the proposal is to develop and apply practical, pragmatic smart grid solutions to develop the industry and the global reach of the sector. The proposed areas for action are encouraging innovation, maximising the impact of pilot and demonstrator projects in Scotland, empowering consumers by increasing awareness of managing energy consumption, developing the supply chain to seize opportunities, identifying skills requirements and improving the dialogue and engagement across the sector and related sectors.
“Scotland is playing an important role in the emerging global low carbon economy, including pursuing a target to ensure renewable energy generates at least 100 percent of Scotland’s electricity demand by 2020,” commented first minister Alex Salmond at the launch of the strategy. “The development of smart grid technologies and services will be an important part of this green energy drive – and an important opportunity for Scottish businesses and research institutions.
The strategy was developed by the Smart Grid Strategy Working Group comprised of Scottish Power, SSE, Strathclyde University, GE Energy, Cisco and Scottish Enterprise.
The UK market in 2020 for customer energy management products and services has been estimated at £1.5 billion. An indicative value for the 2020 UK network automation and optimization market is £1 billion. According to a statement, Scotland is well positioned for a significant share of these market segments.