The turnaround in energy policy networks key technologies to create a large market of the future – standards will pave the way
What makes smart grids, smart meters and smart homes so smart? It is not a single technology, but rather the intelligent combination of hardware and software, services and products, and existing technologies and innovations to form a new and complex system.
Such a system needs rules and standards that ensure interoperability and thereby guarantee that it not only works as a whole, but that common goals are achieved. In this case, it concerns a reliable, safe, efficient and future-oriented energy supply. It also applies to contributing to much lower CO2emissions through efficient devices that sustainably generate power and intelligently distribute and store electricity for the purpose of achieving the climate objectives.
As a competence centre for electrotechnical standardization, the VDE|DKE is helping to shape Germany’s turnaround in energy policy. This is possible thanks to the many small and large companies as well as research institutes with which the VDE|DKE is collaborating.
All of the parties involved contribute all of their innovative strength to support this social challenge. In both this printed compendium and on the Web portal www.Energiewende180.de, the Energiewende 180° initiative of the VDE|DKE compellingly documents the variety of energy ideas that are made in Germany.
The campaign is both an appraisal and an incentive to continue to shape Germany’s energy future together. The VDE|DKE and its technical experts will actively contribute to this process as a platform for dialogue amongst all interested parties, as a knowledge and competence centre for all questions concerning electrotechnical standardization and with a commitment to a turnaround in energy policy which will sustainably benefit all of society, the environment and the economy.
Seeing opportunities rather than costs
Without a doubt, the turnaround in German energy policy is one of the largest technical and social challenges in recent years. However, it is also a driver for innovation in Germany. The current discussions about the turnaround in energy policy mainly revolve around the costs to German business and concerns about their competitiveness. This is certainly an important aspect, but the discussion about the turnaround in energy policy should not be limited to this alone. It is indisputable that many opportunities and new markets will open for German technologies.
Projects such as constructing large wind parks for sustainable energy production, developing an intelligent network infrastructure into a smart grid and improving electric mobility as well as energy efficiency in buildings, IT structures, lighting concepts and household appliances all take on a new dynamic.
Germany’s turnaround in energy policy therefore requires an unprecedented combination of key sectors which have operated independently up to this point. Networking across sectors such as power production, real estate, electrical engineering, information technology and the auto industry brings about an enormous potential to create value. Technological innovations and the knowledge that is acquired from them can become a new “made in Germany” export success. Many companies already realized this years ago and therefore expanded their research and development activities to suit this sector. This is an emerging market which experts estimate to be worth up to EUR 540 billion. This opens up opportunities for new start-ups and gives established companies a chance to grow. The projects and initiatives presented here show that many ideas are already prepared for the marketplace and that the rapid development of the turnaround in energy policy has caused the German economy to maintain and expand its technological leadership in this sector.
The turnaround in energy policy is not for lone wolves
Due to the complexity of this issue, cooperation and networking between companies serves as a key factor to success. In the energy infrastructure of the future, isolated solutions will have little to no chance. This also changes the innovative culture of companies – from the producers of the smallest electrical components to the operators of giant wind parks. Quick and secure progress in innovation will only be assured when standardized, open interfaces are defined. This almost automatically leads to the necessity of jointly developed and defined standards that offer sustainability and investment security – which, in part, requires very costly research and development work – to the companies involved. Specialized knowledge and experiences from the different industries can only be bundled together if there is close coordination and continuous communication.
The VDE|DKE as a service provider for a successful turnaround in energy policy
As a non-profit organization, the VDE|DKE offers a unique platform for this exchange. In 2012 alone, more than 12,000 participants from various sectors carried out 1,100 meetings with each other in order to develop the basis for collective standards. This was not only done with Germany in mind, but also with the aim to have their ideas represented and serve as contributing factors in Europe and throughout the world. By involving stakeholders from politics, consumer protection and environmental organizations, we will meet our social contract and simultaneously allow the businesses to consider the legitimate interests of all stakeholders early on. This not only leads to increased planning security, but also to the formation of solutions that are met with broad social acceptance – the basic requirement for a successful turnaround in energy policy. Many of these ideas have been included in the recently published second edition of the German Roadmap “E-Energy/Smart Grid 2.0” from the VDE and DKE. This roadmap is not only an indispensable handbook for businesses that require an inventory of plans that are currently being discussed, but it is also a valuable political impulse which clearly communicates the requirements from industry and research.
With dialogue, competence and commitment, the turnaround in energy policy will be a success
There is no question that many tasks will still have to be addressed along the way to achieving a successful turnaround in energy policy – it is a greatly complex challenge, after all. These issues can only be solved collectively and – in addition to innovation and investment – require that there be an ongoing dialogue between all of the expert groups involved. With your support, the VDE|DKE will continue to contribute to keeping this discussion alive and having it produce fruitful results.
The turnaround in energy policy requires that expertise from the most diverse areas be bundled together. The VDE|DKE therefore offers an open platform where everyone can contribute their knowledge. This collaborative atmosphere enables reliable future plans and roadmaps to be developed; applications and standards to be defined; and innovations to be transformed into real, beneficial and profit-generating business ideas.
We will never lose sight of the objective along the way: the turnaround in energy policy must equally serve the best interests of the environment, consumers and the economy. In order to be able to unite the partially conflicting interests along the way, standards are needed. All of the technical experts, the management and the staff at the VDE|DKE office will be fully committed to this campaign and will contribute where they can.
Finally, we thank all of the participants and organizers who have made this initiative possible. This includes the associations who support the initiative as campaign partners, but especially all of the companies and research institutes who have compiled their ideas and project examples. In doing so, they have documented Germany’s innovative strength in all of its depth and breadth.
DKE German Commission for
Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies of DIN and VDE
Im DIN und VDE
Stresemannallee 15 (VDE building)
60596 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 (0) 69 6308 – 0
Fax: +49 (0) 69 6308 – 9863