A new five-year international co-operation and collaboration programme, supported by the International Energy Agency (IEA), has been launched to help countries develop more energy-efficient electricity transmission and distribution networks.
The new IEA Implementing Agreement, dubbed ENARD (Electricity Networks Analysis, Research and Development), is focusing on developing and sharing new technologies and best practice, to help tackle challenges including climate change, the growth of renewable power generation, replacing the ageing network asset base and rapid shifts in global patterns of energy supply and demand.
Eight IEA member countries have already signed up to the agreement with more countries considering joining, including non IEA member nations.
John Baker of EA Technology, which has been appointed the ENARD Annex I Operating Agent, explained: ‘The ENARD mission is to create a high level international forum for exchanging information, research and analysis, and undertaking collaborative R&D on a wide range of transmission and distribution (T&D) network issues.
‘Our vision is to help operators and governments across the world improve the performance of their T&D networks, with new technologies, architectures, methodologies and operating procedures.
‘The results will include enhanced energy efficiency, reduced environmental impact, lower costs and greater reliability and availability of electricity to end users. This is very much in line with the request from the 2005 G8 Gleneagles Summit for the IEA to develop strategies for a clean, secure and sustainable energy future.’
According to a statement, ENARD has already started work on the first of a series of work programmes, called Annexes, which will be phased in over the next five years. Annex I is focusing on collating and disseminating information on a broad range of T&D issues, as well as establishing a new international structure for data sharing and collaboration. Members of ENARD will then have the opportunity to identify the need for subsequent initiatives, including specific R&D projects.