SMB Communiqué

Issue Q2 2021

Expanding the IEC Mapping Platform (SMB Decision 172/5)

The IEC Mapping Platform is an interface that offers a visual representation of standardization activities within a topic area to allow for a comprehensive overview of standardization gaps and opportunities. First developed as a Smart Grid Map by SyC Smart Energy, the IEC Mapping Platform has been extended as a generic tool available for use by IEC technical committees and advisory bodies. The results received in a survey of IEC TC/SC/SyCs indicate the positive perception of the Mapping Platform but also a lack of understanding of its benefits.

The SMB has approved the recommendations made in the Mapping Platform final report including the initial set of rules governing the use of the platform. As a next step, the SMB has called on the IEC Central Office (CO) to finalize three mappings from different IEC TC/SC/SyCs by June 2022 and to enhance the awareness and use of the platform. Future developments of the platform will be identified by SG 12, Digital transformation and systems approach, including its integration into the SMART Standards Concept.

New SEG relating to the impact of extreme weather conditions on electrical equipment (SMB Decision 172/8)

The SMB has agreed to set up a new standardization evaluation group (SEG), responding to a proposal from the Chinese National Committee. SEG 13, Electrical equipment under extreme climate, environmental and disaster conditions, has been established to evaluate the potential for standardization in relation to the electricity grid and its underlying infrastructure, which is increasingly impacted by extreme weather episodes as a result of climate change.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), these extreme weather events are likely to multiply at a much faster rate in coming years. They are expected to severely affect the electrical infrastructure for power generation, transmission, distribution, and relevant utility-scale energy storage systems, ending at the utility meter.

SEG 13 will investigate standardization requirements based on research progress and technical needs around the world, as well as evaluate the technical capabilities and applications in this field. Adopting a systems approach regarding the resilience of the global infrastructure, SEG 13 will engage with relevant IEC committees as well as other standardization organizations, including ISO, to review existing standards on this topic and highlight any standardization gaps.


lightning strikes into an high voltage tower

More flexibility for allocating systems committee secretariats (SMB Decision 172/10)

Systems committees (SyC) are now entitled to seek approval from the SMB to allocate their secretariats to a National Committee (NC). The aim is to increase flexibility when it may be required. The allocation shall follow the same procedure as the one already in place for technical committees.

Unless such a procedure has been requested, SyC secretariats will continue to be allocated to the IEC CO. The use of neutral secretariats provided by the IEC CO was driven by the need to make them more independent from technical committees and also by the initial expectation that only a few SyCs were likely to be set up.


New ahG on the impact of copyright and licensing on standardization (SMB Decision 172/11)

The SMB set up a new ad hoc group, ahG 92, Impact of copyright and licensing on future IEC standardization. At a previous SMB meeting, IEC TC 57: Power systems management and associated information exchange, presented concerns with the licensing of code components raised by NCs and industry and how it impacts its key standards on the common information model (CIM).

ahG 92 will investigate the consequences of new developments such as machine-readable standards and open source on IEC copyright policy as well as the distribution and licensing of code components and other digital artifacts. It will also identify opportunities and existing gaps within IEC committees and best practices from other organizations. It is expected to support the IEC CO in developing guidance on the current application of the IEC copyright policy, licensing, and processes for handling code components and other digital artifacts in standardization work.

Support for the use of the Global Relevance Toolbox (SMB Decision 172/13)

As part of the IEC Masterplan Implementation, NCs led a working group on the use of the Global Relevance Toolbox (GRT) in technical procedures to ensure that IEC work is relevant for all countries in the IEC community. Nearly all NCs believe that the use of global relevance tools can benefit the IEC community and increase global application of IEC standards. In particular, the GRT helps stakeholders to better understand the global market and enhance their business decisions.

However, because the currently available tool needs to be revised and updated for easier use, the working group has recommended consolidation of information for the GRT into a single user-friendly guidance document, increasing measures to facilitate the implementation of the GRT and the modernization of the National Adoption Database.

In order to support the implementation of these recommendations, the SMB has set up ahG 93, Use of Global Relevance Toolbox in technical procedures. ahG 93 will be tasked with developing a guidance document on the GRT, support IEC CO in the implementation of the GRT in technical processes and engage with ISO to align approaches on the issue of global relevance.