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ASEAN ENERGY BUSINESS FORUM

Singapore launches world's first index for smart grid

SP Group launched on Monday the world’s first index to help utilities measure and advance the development of smart grids.

A smart grid is an electricity supply network that uses digital technology to detect and react to local changes in usage.  It also allows for deployment and integration of electricity drawn from non-traditional sources such as the photovoltaic cells installed on the rooftops of private residences.

Utilities worldwide have applied varying parameters to benchmark smart grids.  But SP, in a bid to derive a suitable framework, has drawn on definitions published by the European Union and the US Department of Energy.

The Smart Grid Index (SGI) thus far covers seven key aspects of an electricity grid: supply reliability; monitoring and control; data analytics; integration of distributed energy resources (DER); green energy; security; and customer empowerment and satisfaction.  

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Using publicly available data, SP applied the Smart Grid Index (SGI) framework on 45 utilities across 30 countries.  

The published results are intended to help promote smart grid developments by helping to identify best practices by leading players.

The top three utilities are US-based PG&E and SDGE with scores of 86 per cent and 82 per cent, respectively;  and Great Britain’s UKPN with 79 per cent.  SP Group was ranked in the second half of the pack with a score of 50 per cent, along with its regional peers, HK Electric, China’s State Grid Beijing and State Grid Shanghai.

SP said that the SGI has won endorsements from industry experts and stakeholders when previewed at the International Utility Working Group in April, a gathering of utilities from Europe, the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.  SGI was also featured at the Conference of the Electric Power Supply Industry (CEPSI) in September.  CEPSI is an event backed by over 40 utilities in the Asia-Pacific.

The index’s methodology was also validated by the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (Nanyang Technological University).

Nanyang Technological University’s deputy provost for education Kam Chan Hin said: “Smart grids are a critical infrastructure that supports economic growth while improving the quality of life in a city. SP Group’s smart grid index will provide important data points, aids healthy industry discourse and enables utilities to deliver sustainable solutions for the future.”

Sim Kwong Mian, chairman of the SP Engineering Council responsible for SGI development, said: “We created this index as we wanted a simple, quantifiable framework to advance our own grid development. It will enable utilities to learn best practices from each other, towards developing a future-ready grid and to serve our customers better.”