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Experts from Japan and German discussed smart grids, smart communities and electric mobility

Aiming at a more sustainable electricity supply system Japan and Germany intend to increase the share of renewable energy sources and to raise the efficiency of energy use.
The intelligent management of energy which is required for this may be achieved by integrating control and storage capabilities with the power grid. Recently, experts from Japan and Germany met in Frankfurt for an exchange of views and a discussion of potential cooperation in this domain.

Combinations of smart grid technologies and stationary batteries or batteries of electric vehicles appear to be promising solutions for the intelligent management of energy and power which is a major societal need of the future. However, challenges in terms of technology development, interoperability standards and infrastructure deployment remain.

In their roles as program management agencies in Japan and Germany the New Energy and Technology Development organization (NEDO) and the VDI/VDE lnnovation + Technik GmbH in July 2012 held a 1st Joint Workshop on Smart Grids, Smart Community and Electric Mobility in order to start the bilateral dialogue on this matter.

The objective of this workshop, which was opened by Mr. Hidekazu Takakura, General Director of the Smart Community Department at NEDO, and Mr. Wolfgang Gessner, Head of the Department Future Technologies and Europe at VDI/VDE-IT, was the exchange of information on industrial research and development activities, standardization needs and local infrastructure deployment issues in the domain of smart grids, smart community and electric mobility. Participants were about 50 representatives of Japanese and German companies of the automotive, electronics and utilities sectors, standardization bodies and local governments. Speakers from corporations of both countries introduced their activities and exchanged their opinions on topics like energy management, international standardization and telecommunication technology which connect electrical vehicles, houses, and grids.

The fruitful dialogue will be continued and shall lead to an understanding of how a potential bilateral cooperation based on knowledge from both countries can be strengthened in the future.

Dr. Keisuke Hachisuka, NEDO,
Dr. Gereon Meyer, VDI/VDE-IT,
Background Information

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) is Japan’s largest public R&D management organization, which is the incorporated administrative agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of the Japanese government. NEDO was originally established in October 1, 1980. NEDO’s roles are (1) promotion of research and development of energy, environmental and industrial technologies as well as acquisition of emission reduction credits through the Kyoto Mechanisms, (2) development, demonstration and introduction of promising technologies that private sector enterprises cannot transfer to the practical application stage by themselves due to the high risk and long development period required, and (3) efficient project management making the best use of the R&D capabilities and know-how of industry, academia and government.
VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH is an organization setup by two of the largest European professional associations for engineers (VDI = Association of German Engineers and VDE = Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies). The company’s primary objective is to promote R&D by developing instruments and initiatives for accelerating technological development and industrialization. VDI/VDE-IT is responsible for the implementation and management of R&D and innovation support programs launched by national and regional governments. For the topic of electric mobility, VDI/VDE-IT has a multitude of roles: It is managing the electric mobility program of the German Federal Ministry of Environment and the EV showcase program of the Federal Government. VDI/VDE-IT also is the office of the eNOVA Strategy Board on Electric Mobility, a group of major companies representing the entire value chain related to electric vehicles in Germany. Furthermore, the company is strongly involved in the European Green Cars Initiative and the Implementing Agreement Hybrid and Electric Vehicles of the International Energy Agency.
Smart Community:
A social system which includes smart grid and services from a viewpoint of mass introduction of renewable energies and new generation energy infrastructure.

Electric Mobility:
Electric Mobility is the focus of a national funding program of at first 500 million Euro which the German Federal Government has implemented in 2009-12 for the promotion of research, development and innovation in the domain of electric vehicles and their integration into the power grid. The follow-up program which started in early 2012 makes available another one billion Euro, among others for four EV showcase regions.

Wiebke Ehret | idw
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