International smart grid technologies conference underscores a smarter future

International smart grid technologies conference underscores a smarter future

IEEE Power and Energy Society’s Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Asia 2011 Conference (IEEE PES ISGT Asia 2011) started in Perth today (14 November 2011).

Organisation of the IEEE PES ISGT Asia 2011 has been led by the Centre for Smart Grid and Sustainable Power Systems at Curtin University and the conference was opened by Professor Andris Stelbovics, Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Curtin University.

The opening keynote address was delivered Wanda Reder, Vice President of Power Systems Services at S&C Electric Company as well as the Global Architect for S&C’s global service operations, and is the Immediate Past President of the IEEE Power & Energy Society.

‘Smart grid technologies are great, but there’s a lot more to be done – we have to engage with the consumer in a meaningful way so they understand the real and substantial advantages that a smart grid will deliver to them as consumers,’ said Ms Reder.

In addressing the conference on behalf of Western Australian network utility Western Power, a key supporter of the event, General Manager Regulation and Sustainability, Phil Southwell, concurred saying that ‘we need demonstrations of smart grid installations connecting smarter homes that reveal the benefits to customers.’

The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA –, also a supporter of the conference, welcomed Ms Reder’s and Mr Southwell’s comments.

‘A key part of changing the way we use energy in the 21st Century will be through the adoption of smarter technologies in appliances deployed in homes and businesses, better integration and smarter management of energy use, connecting smart meters to smart grids to smarter, more sustainable cities,’ says Professor Ray Wills, SEA CEO.

‘However, there is a challenge arising in growing cynicism around the good news that is renewable energy, and the better news that is smarter ways to use energy that cost us less – a cynicism that feeds on the myth that maybe the benefit of a smart grid is only to those that are selling the energy, and assumes no benefit to the customer,’ says Prof Wills.

‘One of the goals of smarter networks must extend to reducing the amount of electricity you need for your home, and that means the appliances you buy must work to both help you and to save you money at the same time, not behaving like an unwanted houseguest demanding to be fed.’

‘A more sustainable future dealing with the threat of dangerous climate change is not about switching the lights off and moving into a cave, but about getting better life outcomes while using less energy, and, whenever we can, to create that energy from emissions free renewable energy sources.’

Curtin University and Western Power are corporate members of SEA, a business chamber supporting action on climate change through the deployment of sustainable energy solutions.

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