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Conference to Focus on Smart Grid Developments

03 Nov 2011

Ausgrid Managing Director George Maltabarow will present the opening keynote at the Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand conference and exhibition taking place November 8-10 in Sydney.  The conference will focus on e-mobility and smart grid developments, topics of great interest to many in the government.

Kristian Handberg, Project Manager for Low Emission Vehicles, at the Australian Department of Transport, who will discuss Victoria’s ongoing Electric Vehicle Trial during the conference,  notes, “It would be great to hear an Australian utility announce a strategic plan for Electric Vehicles (EVs) along the lines of what is being done by DTE Energy in Michigan or PG&E in California. I’d give it maybe another two to three years, but maybe I’ll be proven wrong.”
Joerg Lohr, Senior Manager E-Mobility at RWE Effizienz says: “Electric Vehicles will play a significant role as a storage facility of renewable energy. We are one of the biggest operators of intelligent infrastructure for electric vehicles in the world, and unique within Europe.” RWE currently operates more than 1350 publicly accessible charging spots in Europe, with plans to expand to the United States and China.

Southern California Gas Director of Strategic Analysis, Thomas R. Brill, adds: “We are at the beginning of an exciting journey to improve efficiency, reduce emissions, and empower energy consumers. My vision for smart grid investments is to create a secure utility platform for the ‘smart customer’ of the future that empowers customers with reliability, choice, control and convenience.”

Smart Utilities Australia and New Zealand program director, Elly Kreijkes, says utilities face several obstacles in efforts to establish the smart grid. “These challenges include trying to ensure that smart grid rollouts benefit the customer rather than adding to the costs. In addition to the cost-benefits analysis, utilities need to look at how to best deal with information flows and privacy. Finally, with growing developments in new technologies utilities are confronted with a lot of choices and need to make justified investment decisions.”