Washington, DC — The smart grid has made important strides to
date, attracting substantial infrastructure investment in smart
metering, distribution automation, electric vehicle charging and
other network investments. But much of the heavy lifting still
lies ahead as the traditional energy sector, in partnership with
new technology providers, must innovate and overhaul outdated
business models to deliver true value to consumers and society.

Those key findings emerged from the 2011 Energy Smart
Technologies Leadership Forum, hosted by Bloomberg New Energy
Finance last month in Lisbon, Portugal. The Forum was the fourth
in Bloomberg’s series of events for senior smart energy experts,
and brought together 60 leading players in the development of
the new grid, including representatives of energy utilities such
as EDP Distribuição, RWE and British Gas, as well as technology
specialists Silver Spring Networks, Cisco Systems, SAP and
Oracle.

The group’s perspectives on the industry today and where it may
be heading are reflected in the Forum Results Book published
today by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in conjunction with
partner EDP Distribuição and sponsor Silver Spring Networks.

The book details the findings of the two-day workshop and
scenario planning exercise. It is published today at the
GridWise Global Forum and can be downloaded at
http://www.bnef.com/free-publications/white-papers/.

The scenario planning exercise invited participants to imagine
the grid 10 years from now. Currently, utility companies around
the world are embarking upon projects that will see hundreds of
millions of smart meters and other smart grid devices installed
in the next decade. However, in a scenario where few new
entrants or new products and services emerge to take advantage
of smart network investments, benefits to the consumer could be
relatively limited.

Instead, it will be up to regulators and policymakers to remove
barriers for new product and service offerings in areas such as
smart home, demand response, distributed generation and electric
vehicle management. Allowing not just utility companies but
also disruptive innovators from other sectors to explore new
business models will help to maximize value-creating activities
around smart grid infrastructure.

Albert Cheung, Head of Energy Smart Technologies at Bloomberg
New Energy Finance, expanded on the Forum’s findings: “Removing
regulatory barriers to innovation and allowing new entrants into
the market will help to realize the benefits of smart energy.
Even in deregulated markets such as in Europe, innovation can be
stifled by outdated regulations and legacy market rules. We
believe that smart energy will not only herald a technology
update for the power industry; it will also usher in a period of
significant business innovation, leading to a very different
energy sector than the one that exists today.”

Gil Forer, Leader of Ernst & Young’s Global Cleantech Center,
who also contributed to this book, explains: “The implementation
of smart grid is one of the key enablers for a wide successful
deployment of renewable energy and electric vehicles. But the
required investment in smart grid infrastructure requires not
only a significant amount of capital but also partnerships among
various stakeholders and continuous technology and business
model innovation.”

Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade, Executive Board Member and Chairman
of InovGrid at EDP Distribuição, added, “Energy systems are
changing and old rules will not prevail in the future. The
trends of energy efficiency, increased electrification of the
economy, decarbonisation of power generation and the role of
grids in adapting supply/demand flows are a priority on the
agenda of European utilities, who are heavily involved in
research, development and pilot projects designed to validate
new technologies and business models and innovation. There is
ample scope and benefit for those who can design, produce and
implement new solutions to succeed in aligning the power sector
with a low carbon economy in a competitive, secure and
sustainable manner.”

Commenting on the Forum, Eric Dresselhuys, EVP of Silver Spring
Networks, said, “The conference engaged a broad spectrum of
global market leaders in addressing the challenges and
opportunities posed by this transformation in energy delivery.
I was particularly impressed by the discussions on how new
technology platforms move markets. Bloomberg is to be
congratulated on creating such a thought-provoking event.”

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