IEEE Actions on Smart Grid Policy Issues
Since 2009, members of the IEEE Smart Grid Committee and the IEEE Standards Association in support of IEEE's Smart Grid Initiative have acted to monitor and/or influence related policy issues within the USA. The main thrust of our participation was monitoring legislative and regulatory developments, organizing meetings and briefings to connect IEEE Smart Grid leaders with key decision-makers in Washington, DC, and working to ensure that IEEE was well positioned to take advantage of smart grid standards development and programmatic opportunities called for in the American Research and Competitiveness Act and/or funded through the federal economic stimulus. The effort was led by IEEE-USA. The following are some highlights of that effort:
- IEEE USA Energy Policy Committee: The IEEE USA Energy Policy Committee assists in the resolution of energy problems through the provision of rational, sound, technical and professional counsel based upon the best resources which the IEEE is competent to bring to bear upon these problems in the United States. A major portion of the efforts of the Energy Policy Committee will be directed towards the energy-related activities of the legislative and executive branches at all levels of the United States government.
- Electricity Delivery Workforce Development: In response to a request from Senator Jeff Bingaman, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, IEEE-USA, IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) and its Power and Energy Engineering Workforce Collaborative engaged in a crash 30 day project to develop a position statement making recommendations to the Department of Energy on how best to allocate $100M in "stimulus" money appropriated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for "worker training activities" related to building the national Smart Grid. A special task force chaired by Dennis Ray of the IEEE-PES Workforce Collaborative developed the recommendations, which were approved by a special meeting of the IEEE-USA Board on April 23 and subsequently delivered to key Department of Energy officials in meetings held in April and early May of 2009. This exercise demonstrated the Smart Grid committee’s ability to act nimbly in response to a fast-moving opportunity and to partner effectively with IEEE technical societies to draw on the expertise of their members
- Energy Fly-In June 15-16, 2009. Over 40 IEEE members from across the country came to Washington to participate in IEEE-USA's first Energy Fly-In. Members were briefed on IEEE-USA’s National Energy Policy Recommendations and then met with their elected representatives in Congress to help the legislators develop national energy policy including provisions to support Smart Grid development.
- Smart Grid Testimony: With assistance from IEEE Standards and the IEEE-PES Power and Energy Workforce Collaborative, IEEE-USA submitted testimony to the House Science Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards for a July 23rd hearing on effectively updating our national electrical system to a Smart Grid.
- Congressional Briefings on Smart Grid Standards: On March 26, 2009, IEEE-USA, IEEE-SA and ASME jointly sponsored a congressional briefing on the status of NIST's efforts related to "Smart Grid" interoperability standards. In September, IEEE-USA joined with IEEE-SA in organizing a special briefing on the IEEE P2030 Smart Grid interoperability standard for congressional staffers, including a personal briefing for staff of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. IEEE-SA President Chuck Adams and P2030 Work Group Chair Dick DeBlasio delivered the briefings.
- Department of Energy (DOE) Interactions: On October 16, 2009, IEEE-USA President Gordon Day and staff met with DOE Under Secretary for Science Steve Koonin and Under Secretary of Energy Kristina Johnson to discuss how IEEE-USA can assist in the DOE's mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States. As an outcome of the meeting, Under Secretary Koonin requested that IEEE-USA (working with IEEE-PES and other interested IEEE technical societies) organize a technical conference in 2010 focused on IT Implications Across Energy Sectors including Smart Grid issues.
- Congressional Staff Interactions: IEEE-USA staff and volunteers have met with numerous members of Congress and key staff members to discuss aspects of energy legislation being considered in Congress. Over 20 meetings were held which included energy staff members for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Jeff Bingaman, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), House Energy and Commerce Committee Staff, House Science Committee Staff.
- National Energy Summit: On September 23-24, 2009, IEEE-USA President Gordon Day represented IEEE in a National Energy Summit, organized by the Council on Competitiveness, and featuring keynotes by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Presidential S&T Advisor John Holdren, and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as various leaders from industry, academia and the media.
- Road to the New Energy Economy: In partnership with Discover Magazine, the National Science Foundation and ASME, IEEE-USA sponsored a four-part briefing series for Congress on The Road to the New Energy Economy. The four briefings were; Cellulosic Biofuels, Energy Storage, Increasing Efficiency, and Transitional Technologies. One of these briefings focused on Smart Grid as a Transitional Technology.
- National Energy Policy Recommendations – January 2009
IEEE Congressional Testimony: Smart Grid Architecture and Standards: Assessing Coordination and Progress John McDonald, IEEE Fellow and Director of Technical Strategy and Policy Development for GE’s Digital Energy business; gave testimony on the progress of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, House Committee on Science and Technology on July 01, 2010.