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M 2 M and the IEEE The state of standardization for M2M, smart grid and smart metering globally While we have made key progress in smart meter and smart grid communications in markets around the world, we still have to keep moving forward. Important steps in standardization are being undertaken daily. We are seeing new standards that help the marketplace, such as IEEE 2030.5 1 , which provides a smart energy profile to help integrate some of the home automation technologies with the smart meter and into the utility. Still, it is going to take some time to fully realize the benefits of applications. As we are seeing progress in these standards, it is becoming increasingly clear that collaboration among global SDOs (standards- development organisations) is going to be very important to help harmonize and utilize industry resources to drive innovation forward in a way that is beneficial to utilities and their customers alike. IEEE has more than 100 standards (and standards in development) with relevance to the smart grid, including many that are intended specifically to contribute to M2M communications. We have seen a lot of progress around networking standards with application for new environments. Two examples are the IEEE 2030.5 smart energy profile, which proposes mechanisms for exchanging application messages and security features, and IEEE P2030.10 2 , which outlines procedures for implementing an IEC 61850 substation in a multi-vendor equipment environment. So, there has been a lot of progress in terms of moving technologies for data exchange forward. Cybersecurity critical One of the key areas now where the utility industry has been looking at standardization is cybersecurity, which is so critically important in an environment of M2M communications for command and control and highly sensitive utility and consumer data. Among the key standards in this area are IEEE 1686 3 , IEEE C37.240 4 and the in-development IEEE P2030.102.1 5 . In overlaying the grid with two-way communications, cybersecurity is of utmost importance because, conceptually, at least, inaccurate or compromised data could shut down areas of the grid and jeopardize economies or even lives. In many cases, we are looking at technologies that already exist but in new ways. So when we talk about smart grid networks and sensor networks now, it’s a matter of leveraging existing, proven communications technologies – Ethernet, Wi-Fi, powerline communications and such – and defining how to collect, store and exchange data in an interoperable, secure and robust fashion for this new application. The right standard for the right technology We have standards in multiple technology spaces such as broadband over powerline, wireless communications, Ethernet, fiber, etc., and each has its pros and cons depending on its own implementation and environmental adaptation to whatever local region, given the specific deployment. The IEEE 802.3 6 standards, for example, are very important here, as are the IEEE 1901 7 family and how we look at exchanging that data. So, IEEE standards are meant to cover technologies broadly and extend to utilities the flexibility to deploy whatever collaboration among global SDOs is going to be very important” 34 interoperable technologies are best for their environment. IEEE is a neutral home, giving equal opportunity for stakeholders in any technology space to work together openly as they need to advance innovation; we don’t decide the technology winners and losers in the marketplace.   As to how to go about implementing and employing these standards, it’s important that utilities first focus on what their priorities and challenges are. If a utility is looking to modernize its substation and bring in more control and communications, it might look at IEEE 1815 8 , which provides the DNP (Distributed Network Protocol) suitable for operation on a variety of communication media including security, as well as some of the Ethernet-related standards on communications. If a utility is looking at how to better integrate with some of the home controls through the meter, IEEE 2030.5 will be of interest, as well as automated meter reading standards, such as IEEE 1377 9 and IEEE 1703 10 are key. If it’s integrating renewable technologies, there are IEEE 1547 11 and IEEE 1547.3 12 with regard to data exchange and monitoring and controls for those distributed resources. And, of course, all utilities are looking at cybersecurity; IEEE 1686 comes into play here, in terms of addressing what utilities need to look for in rolling out intelligent devices on the system and proposing the questions to ask with regard to integration and implementing encryption. Standardization for integration One thing that we have come to learn is that, while we formerly had an environment in which we had a utility, an operator and a consumer and the boundaries of who was supplying, delivering and using energy were very clear, those lines are blurring in the smart grid and the move toward fully integrated systems. In an environment in which the consumer is dealing with changing rate prices daily and integration of smart meters and controls in the home, and the utility is looking at issues such as peak shaving or smoothing with regard to storage, the integration of networks and sensor data points for seamless M2M communications is key. So, while conventional processes and technologies for energy delivery have been METERING INTERNATIONAL ISSUE – 1 | 2015