Year in Review and What’s Next in 2017?

By Massoud Amin and Angelique Rajski Parashis

In 2016, IEEE Smart Grid continued to have another banner year by every measure, thanks to efforts of a great team involved. Together we serve as the go-to resource, with expertise in all aspects related to grid modernization, from local to national and global assessments, from microgrids and technologies, to policy impacts and ROI, from engineering and optimization of the power grid to smart villages.

As one of the largest growing networks for smart grid experts, analysts, leaders, students and the broader public, IEEE Smart Grid currently has more than 120,000 members, and growing, via its eight collaboratory modes and marketing channels, with roots in 182 nations – at nearly every country and territory in the world. The IEEE Smart Grid’s recently launched Resource Center, which serves as a valuable asset and showcase of the widespread collaborative output that has been achieved to date.

IEEE Smart Grids for Smart Cities

In October, IEEE Smart Grid partnered with 18 technical co-sponsors to host the first ever IEEE International Forum on Smart Grids for Smart Cities (SG4SC), in collaboration with “Think Smart Grids,” the organization assembling smart grid stakeholders in France. The event, chaired by Prof. Nouredine Hadjsaid, offered comprehensive panel sessions featuring prominent actors from both the smart grid and smart city communities, each providing a unique international perspective on technology, applications, standards and policy pertaining to “Smart Grids as Enablers for Smart Cities and Other Smart Community Solutions.” The main objective of the Forum was to discuss the link between smart grids and smart cities and particularly the role of smart grids as a key and fundamental technological brick for smart cities.

For this purpose, the forum program uniquely positioned and covered key linking technical and non-technical areas of mutual interest including:

  • Building, Eco-district and Demand Response Challenges
  • Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Electric Vehicle (EV) Integration in Smart Cities
  • Integrated Approaches to Smart Energy Systems
  • Smart Metering and Standards Evolution
  • New Stakeholder Roles - Citizen Engagement Challenges
  • New Business Models, Regulation and Investment Strategies
  • New Intelligence, Communications and Technology (ICT) Architectures/Smart City Applications and Cyber Security

Each topic offered input from different stakeholders including decision makers, experts, and testimonies along with feedback experience to the attendees whom had the opportunity to offer contributions through an open discussion. The forum concluded with key recommendations to decision makers summarizing the various contributions and discussion on how smart grids can be enablers for smart cities. More information may be found at Thank you to everyone who made this event a success! We look forward to beginning work on the next edition of SG4SC.

The Foundations of Electricity: 125 Years of Electricity

In addition, IEEE Smart Grid, in collaboration with IEEE Power & Energy Society and the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association was proud to publish The Foundations of Electricity: 125 Years of Electricity, written by Robert A. Dent. This is IEEE’s first coffee table book that portrays and illuminates the various progressions of electricity in a period of 125 years. The focus of this book is to demonstrate how electricity created in past serves as a foundation for electricity in the future. The Foundations of Electricity: 125 Years of Electricity features some of the following topics in a carefully designed masterpiece including:

  • Depictions of the past, present, and future technology alongside a timeline of developments
  • An extensive array of topics covered such as Power Technology, Generation, Transmission, Distribution, Consumerism, Utilization, and the Future
  • Contributions from various scientists, inventors, mathematicians, engineers, and physicists
  • Descriptions of evolutions of electricity such as light bulbs, dams, power generating plants, power cables, transmission lines, and digital computers

For more information, please visit the IEEE Smart Grid Resource Center.

IEEE Smart Grid in 2017

In 2017, at IEEE Smart Grid together we shall continue to create highly pertinent content including newsletter articles, webinars, interviews, tutorials, conferences and workshops as they relate to the IEEE Smart Grid Domains, focused in the following sequence:

  • January 2017: Customer Domain (Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Lessons Learned Automated Meter Reading (AMR)/Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Meter Data Management, Demand Response, Electric Vehicles)
  • February 2017: Distribution Domain (Advanced Distribution Management, Distribution Automation, Outage Management System, Micro-Grid Integration, Application of Microgrids and Distributed Generation, Smart Grid Implementation, Distribution Automation)
  • March and April 2017: Foundational Support Systems Domain (Home Area Networks, Big Data Analytics/Analytics and Operations, Information and Data Management/Data Management System (DMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Geographic Information System (GIS), Infrastructure Protection, Environmental Impacts and Efficiency , Grid Optimization/Increase Asset Life/Safety/Better Billing/Control, Outage Management (Blackout & Restoration), Next Generation of Energy Efficiency)
  • May and June 2017: Non-Bulk Generation Domain (Grid Storage, Modeling and simulation of DER in the real grid/DER integration, Centralized Renewable Generation, Distributed Renewable Generation, Integration of Distributed Generation & Storage, Renewable Energy Integration, Transactive Energy Systems, Distribution System Operators)
  • July 2017: Operations Domain (Demand Response, Operations of a Modern Grid)
  • August 2017: Markets Domain and Service Provider Domain (Economics of Operations, Socio-technological macro system)
  • September 2017: Transmission Domain (Steps Toward a Smarter Transmission System Operation, Recent Trends in Transmission Power Systems, Transmission Planning Challenges, HVDC Network, Transmission Level Smart Grid)
  • October 2017: Interaction between Distribution/Customer/Transmission Domains (Sub-Station Automation, Smart Cities, Internet of Things (IoT), Transmission and Distribution Planning and Challenges)
  • November 2017: Bulk Generation Domain (Generation Advancements, Bulk Power Systems, Bulk Wind Generation to Distributed Storage)
  • December 2017: Year in Review

We would like to acknowledge the committed work of the IEEE Smart Grid Committee members from across our 14 partner organizational units for their involvement and active participation including IEEE Communications Society; IEEE Computer Society; IEEE Control Systems Society; IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society; IEEE Industrial Applications Society; IEEE Industry Electronics Society; IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Society; IEEE Power Electronics Society; IEEE Power & Energy Society; IEEE Reliability Society; IEEE Signal Processing Society; IEEE Standards Association; IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society; and IEEE Vehicular Technology Society.

We would also like to acknowledge and thank our Committee Chairs for their leadership and service in 2016 including: Dr. Ebrahim Vaahedi of the IEEE Smart Grid Publications Committee, Dr. Peter Wung of the IEEE Smart Grid Research & Development Committee, Mr. Steven Collier of the IEEE Smart Grid Education Committee, Mr. Joseph Paladino and Dr. Veronika Rabl of the IEEE Smart Grid Policy Technical Support Committee, and Mr. Mark Halpin and Dr. Stefano Galli of the IEEE Smart Grid Technical Activities Committee. Last, but not least, we would like to thank our numerous IEEE member volunteers and staff who have helped make things happen!

What’s Next in 2017?

As we look ahead to 2017 and beyond, a longer-range look at strategic issues is a valuable addition to be able to anticipate beyond-the-horizon issues. Should we be cautioned, however, that in the dynamic environment we are in, longer-range predictions should form the basis of dialogue around how to monitor and detect horizon events rather than form the basis for action in the face of uncertainty.

Drivers: The drivers are many and technology advancements have focused on sensors, automation, and communication to improve two way flow of power, with increased system reliability, resilience and security, and to reduce waste and improve device and system efficiencies. Another driver is the need to respond to climate change and the pressures of related global policies. Another area of technology innovation is the electrification of transportation and other services that are/can be electrified. When we look at IoT or smart cities, they’re all enabled by Smart Grid and vice versa. This also connects to interdependencies, and thus resilience, sustainability and security. These drivers and resulting innovations are all part of the same basic cluster of technologies. It just depends on what scale and what applications we’re considering, what policies, business models and cultural/social contexts are in place.

Prosumers, nonmonolitic, in an increasingly digital world: The increasing need on digital-quality power and the expanding demands on our electric grid and an aging infrastructure that can’t be expected to cope with increasing numbers of extreme events. Even little devices, like our smart phones, depend on a vast network of electricity-dependent communication networks, server farms, digitization of music, videos, medical records and a lot more… with electricity-dependent hardware and software.

Energy transition: This change calls for the current model— centralized power with a vast delivery network—to give way to hybrid model which judiciously includes decentralized sources, electrified transportation and storage -- monitored and controlled by secure intelligent sensors and actuators that can detect threats (natural or intentional), head them off, and “self-heal” the critical delivery of power. This IS the critical underpinning of smart cities, and the seriousness of this paradigm shift that will be necessary.

Technological, ROI/Business, Policy, Cultural and Public Engagement Vectors: The technologies applied to Smart Grid have, in the last few years, undergone a revolution. These developments have really changed the whole landscape of the energy sector. We used to think about utilities as a very established, mature area with little room for innovation. But innovation has accelerated dramatically. The slow evolution of past decades, in terms of meeting changing demand, changing needs, has suddenly taken off in the 5-7 years. As we start 2017, it is important for our community to come together and continue to address key issues in smart grid and related technologies. Some important questions we must address include:

  • What key distributed energy technologies can disrupt the power sector? Impacts of DG and DER on reliability, and need for end-to-end transparency. How will they affect power system operations, markets, and regulations?
  • What business models may develop, and how will they successfully serve both upstream electricity market actors and energy consumers?
  • What effects could these new business models have on incumbent utilities, and what opportunities may exist for other industry sectors to capitalize on these changes?
  • How will regulation need to evolve to create a level playing field for both distributed and traditional energy resources?
  • What are plausible visions of the future of the power sector, including changes for incumbent utilities, new electricity service providers, regulators, policymakers, and consumers?
  • Critical infrastructure protection (CIP and) cyber security issues will persist and likely to escalate.

The Smart Grid is an international priority, with needs varying from country to country. Our goal is to leverage our partnership with the entire IEEE community and beyond. We welcome collaboration from colleagues around the world, from those involved in sensing, instrumentation and communications technologies; computer science; power and energy; controls and automation; industrial internet and IoT; and markets and policy; to those involved in broader environmental, smart cities, transportation and quality of life issues.

We have much more to do and the best is yet to come -- together we continue to grow the collaborative nature of the IEEE Smart Grid and welcome your increased particpation and engagement.

Please visit the IEEE Smart Grid Portal to learn more about how you can get involved. If you are interested in participating in any way, please contact Angelique Rajski Parashis, Project Manager for IEEE Smart Grid at

For a downloadable copy of  December 2016 eNewsletter which includes this article, please visit the IEEE Smart Grid Resource Center.




Dr. Massoud Amin is a Fellow of the ASME and the IEEE, Chair of IEEE Smart Grid, Chairman of Texas Reliability Entity, an Independent Director of MRO, holds the Honeywell/H.W. Sweatt Chair in Technological Leadership at the University of Minnesota. He directs the University’s Technological Leadership Institute (TLI) and is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received a B.S. Degree with Honors and the M.S. Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the M.S. degree and the D.Sc. degree in systems science and mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Before joining the University of Minnesota in 2003, Dr. Amin held positions of increasing responsibility at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto. After 9/11, he directed EPRI’s Infrastructure Security R&D and served as area manager for Infrastructure Security & Protection, Grid Operation/Planning, and Energy Markets. Prior to that, he served as Manager of mathematics and information sciences, led the development of more than 24 technologies that transferred to industry, and pioneered R&D in “self-healing” infrastructures and smart grids.


a rajski

Angelique Rajski Parashis serves as the Project Manager for IEEE Smart Grid and the IEEE Power & Energy Society. In her previous role, Angelique served as the Capital Campaign Manager for IEEE Foundation, responsible for raising nearly $2 million annually for the IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative. Angelique comes to IEEE with experience in nonprofits supporting underserved communities including people with developmental disabilities and low-income families in need of assistance. She also worked extensively in government and politics, where she served as Chief of Staff to a New Jersey State Assemblyman and spent time working in Washington, DC for a US Congressman. Angelique received her Master of Public Affairs and Politics from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and her BA in Criminal Justice and Political Science also from Rutgers University.

Past Issues

To view archived articles, and issues, which deliver rich insight into the forces shaping the future of the smart grid. Older Bulletins (formerly eNewsletter) can be found here. To download full issues, visit the publications section of the IEEE Smart Grid Resource Center.

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IEEE Smart Grid Bulletin Compendium

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