Page 22 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2015 publication
P. 22
Summer 2015 European Energy Innovation


Smart Grids in Europe:
Policy drivers, technology and

By Manuel Sánchez-Jiménez and Flavia Gangale, European Commission

ENERGY UNION AND THE what concerns the integration to develop attractive smart
NEEDS FOR FLEXIBILITY/ of variable renewable energy solutions and boost their global
SMART GRIDS sources and the further competitiveness.
We are witnessing big changes electrification of energy uses,
to the way electricity is produced, such as electric vehicles. ACCUMULATED PROJECT
transmitted and used. Those EXPERIENCES IN THE UNION
changes are driven by our EU The Energy Union initiative sets AND MATURE TECHNOLOGY
Energy and Climate policy the framework for efficiently AREAS
that aims to a cost-efficient managing this transformation. It is Smart metering systems are
energy transition by balancing based on five mutually reinforcing a building block of the smart
competitiveness, sustainability and interconnected dimensions: grid and their deployment
and security of supply. It requires the internal market, energy will facilitate the integration
the implementation of existing efficiency, decarbonisation, of new smart technologies
legislation and market rules as energy security and research and and innovations across the
well as further transformation innovation. grid. Many research and
towards more flexibility of the demonstration projects have
energy system, especially to Energy markets and grids have to already been set up in Europe
be fit for the new requirements of to investigate and demonstrate
the energy system. Smart grids these new technologies, tools
are clearly one of the enablers and techniques. Today, smart
for realising the Energy Union metering is a mature technology.
– both in terms of infrastructure If Member States’ plans
and market. They are a part materialise, by 2020 almost 3 out
of the solution for managing of 4 European households and
our grids in times of ever businesses will have electricity
increasing shares of renewables, smart metering systems; an
decentralised generation and investment of 35 billion Euros
new loads, but also for creating on ca. 200 million of meters.
new value streams (i.e. services Additionally, about 40 millions
and products). Moreover, smart of smart meters for gas will be
technologies, including smart installed by 2020, amounting to
metering systems, will enable an additional investment of about
consumers to reap benefits 10 billion Euros. The key issue is
from the energy market by whether all this equipment follows
taking control of their energy recommended functionalities
consumption and providing and recent developed standards
their flexibility to the system. which make these systems
This is part of the “new deal” interoperable.
for consumers advocated in the
Energy Union. In the last five years, the
Commission’s Directorate General
Smart Grids are also part of for Energy and the Joint Research
an innovative and competitive Centre have been cooperating
Energy Union. They provide to map smart grid projects in
an important opportunity Europe and to identify best
for European manufacturers practices and lessons learned1. To
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