April 4, 2011 – Abu Dhabi – The Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF), an international organization dedicated to promoting best practices and accelerating the deployment of smart grid around the world, today emphasized the importance of expanding collaboration between the private sector and global governments at the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi. Members of the GSGF, which includes seven smart grid national organizations, demonstrated how collaboration on policies can increase investment in smart grid worldwide.

“Although the smart grid has a technical focus, we must make private sector involvement a priority,” said Guido Bartels, General Manager, Energy & Utilities Industry, IBM and Chairman, GSGF. “Regulators and consumer organizations have to get involved from the outset in demonstration and especially in deployment to make sure they understand and benefit from smart grids. We must become adept at reviewing and adjusting our policy and market models as technologies evolve and provide new options and opportunities for business and consumers.”

GSGF was pleased to have contributed to the formulation of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Technology Roadmap on Smart Grids unveiled today during the Clean Energy Ministerial. The roadmap is the result of a series of valuable expert consultation workshops organized by IEA throughout 2010. The document highlights the powerful connection between collaboration and strong policy outcomes and investments.

“The roadmap is a comprehensive consolidation of worldwide opinion in matters relating to the adoption and implementation of smart grid technologies,” said Bartels. “The most notable section of the document highlights the significant value of policy and regulation in driving smart grid investment; this is perhaps the single most important task for all stakeholders in the electricity sector.”

The GSGF works with the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) as well as with national and international government policymakers to address the broad challenges of deploying smarter grids. Through participation in roundtable discussions at the Clean Energy Ministerial, GSGF brought awareness to smarter energy use and resulting policy.

“This opportunity to engage in two-way communication with such major economic influencers and decision-makers serves to advance smart grids around the world,” said J.K. Koo, CEO and President LS Industrial Systems/Chairman KSGA. “It also facilitates consensus-building within the international community to address electricity system and climate change concerns.”

About the Global Smart Grid Federation
The Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF) is a global stakeholder organization committed to creating smarter, cleaner electricity systems around the world. GSGF is comprised of the US GridWise Alliance, the Korean Smart Grid Association, the India Smart Grid Forum, the Japan Smart Community Alliance, Smart Grid Australia, Smart Grid Canada and Smart Grid Ireland. This premier international association brings together the intellectual capital of smart grid stakeholder organizations from around the world that are at various stages in planning and implementation of smart grid technologies. By linking the major public-private stakeholders and initiatives of participating countries, the federation will share best practices, identify barriers and solutions, foster innovation and address key technical and policy issues. These and other activities help member organizations initiate changes to their countries’ electric systems to enhance security, increase flexibility, reduce emissions and maintain affordability, reliability and accessibility.