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IEEE tackles carbon reductions, grid storage

Organization is creating standards for hybrid energy storage systems and for measuring lifecycle CO2 reductions from renewable energy and energy-efficient products.

The IEEE is stepping up its involvement in energy-related technologies with its latest working groups.

The engineering organization announced today the creation of a standards efforts for grid storage and another for measuring greenhouse gas reductions from renewable energy and energy-efficient products.

The grid storage effort, part of the IEEE's P2030 smart grid interoperability working group, will create guidelines for defining the technical interfaces between energy storage systems, such as communications to other smart-grid equipment.

The effort, expected to take about two years, will focus on hybrid storage systems that combine different technologies, such as batteries, ultracapacitors, and flywheels.

"There are [known] ways to get around the weaknesses of each storage technology to combine them into something useful," Dick DeBlasio, a P2030 member and chief engineer at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab, told EETimes.

Grid storage is increasingly viewed as an important technology to make the electric grid more reliable and clean. There are already several pumped hydro facilities on the grid, but utilities are now starting to use large batteries or flywheels as a replacement for natural gas plants to stabilize the grid. Several companies are pursuing bulk storage for wind and solar plants, too.

In a separate effort, the IEEE today launched a working group to create standards for measuring the end-to-end greenhouse gas emission reductions from energy-efficient products and renewable energy technologies. This effort will be different than existing carbon-related measurements in that it will analyze the lifecycle greenhouse gas reductions of energy systems, such as solar or wind farms, and seek to measure the value of different technologies, the IEEE said.

"Market-based attempts to mitigate GHG environmental impacts have stalled in part due to concerns over how emissions are calculated. To a large extent, existing emissions standards have been created discretely in the best interest of traders rather than the companies that must apply them," James McConnach, chair of working group IEEE P1595, said in a statement.

Approval of the standard, which is already under way, is expected in the fall of next year.