Energy efficiency, Smart Grid technology shared among U.S., Russia

The United States and Russia are cooperating on energy efficiency and the Smart Grid, sharing best practices.


United States Agency for International Development (USAID)The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), working with the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) to cooperate with Russia on energy efficiency and smart grids, is supporting efforts to share experience and best practices among U.S. and Russian municipalities and utilities. In May, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in San Diego and Belgorod, Russia, building on an earlier exchange involving utilities and regulators in Texas and federal and utility officials in Kaluga, Russia.

At the G8 Summit in Deauville, France, Presidents Obama and Medvedev highlighted the mutual interest of their countries in energy efficiency, sustainable energy development, and the progress that has been made since the announcement of this initiative at the Summit on June 24, 2010. Under the Energy Working Group of the Presidential Binational Commission, the USAID in cooperation with the DOE and the U.S. Energy Association (USEA), have developed and begun implementation of a smart grid partnership program.

A visit by Russian industry, technical, and government officials to Texas and Washington D.C in December 2010 provided an opportunity to see first-hand the activities of CenterPoint Energy and Austin Energy utilities in this field and their interactions with consumers, vendors and regulators. A seminar in Washington provided an overview of U.S. policy, programs and technologies that are being supported by the DOE and the private sector. A work-plan for a two-year effort was developed that included utility partnership exchanges, business roundtables, and a joint assessment of regulatory and other barriers to the introduction of smart grid technologies and systems. A return visit by CenterPoint Energy and Austin officials to Russia in the Spring of this year exposed these U.S. utilities and technology companies to the challenges that Russian utilities face in modernizing their systems and moving to smart-grid applications.

- Edited by Amanda McLeman, Consulting-Specifying Engineer,

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