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New IEA program launched to improve global power T&D networks

27 October 2006 — A new five year international cooperation and collaboration program, supported by the IEA (International Energy Agency), has been launched to help countries across the world develop more energy-efficient and resilient electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) networks.

The new IEA Implementing Agreement called 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 still more countries are 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 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.”

ENARD has already started work on the first of a series of work programme modules, 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.

ENARD is directed by an Executive Committee made up of senior international governmental representatives, working closely with the IEA. Each Annex will be coordinated by an operating agent with specific expertise in the relevant area and will embrace industry expert representatives from the member countries taking part. Collaboration will be facilitated by an ongoing series of international workshop meetings and a comprehensive new ENARD Web site.