Page 23 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2015 publication
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Summer 2015 European Energy Innovation 23


date, c.a. 450 projects have been deployment phase. structural funds for example in
analysed, accounting for over Greece, Poland and Romania. The
3.15 billion Euros of investments. Looking ahead, European R&I in inclusion of smart grid projects
The mapping exercise is carried smart technologies must also lead remains under the responsibility
out on a regular basis and it is to the next generation of enabling of Member States.
now extending its outreach to technologies, such as power
cover smart distribution system electronics and storage solutions, European Fund for Strategic
architectures/models, laboratories putting the EU at the forefront Investments (EFSI). This is a
and technologies on the verge of of smart grids and smart home new lending instrument to be
industrial diffusion. technology. managed by the European
Investment Bank (EIB) that is
The inventory identifies key smart TODAY’S FINANCIAL expected to be operational
grid applications in different POSSIBILITIES AND by summer this year and that
stages of maturity. Smart network FRAMEWORK CONDITIONS can provide financing (loans,
management applications have We also may need to further guarantees, equity, etc.) to
attracted the highest investments reflect on a regulatory framework commercially viable projects,
and successfully tested several that could better accommodate including smart grids. To our
solutions to improve the the novelty and specificities knowledge, through contacts with
monitoring and controllability of smart grids and incentivise Member States and stakeholders,
of the networks. The integration investments. Overall, the EU will we identified almost 80 smart
of distributed energy resources, need to invest an estimated € grids projects, amounting to a
particularly variable renewable 480 billion by 2035 to enhance total investment of 67.2 billion
generation, has also attracted the automation and control of Euros. These projects are rather
much interest and projects’ results the networks, develop smart heterogeneous and range from
show that technical solutions for appliances for easy demand local smart grid projects to large
their integration are becoming side flexibility and smart homes, smart meter roll-outs with a
consolidated. charging infrastructure for EVs, volume of up to 5 billion Euros or
etc. national smart grids projects of up
Investments in smart customer/ to 8 billion Euros. Approximately
smart home projects are In addition to Horizon 2020 half of the projects relate to smart
also rising steadily, showing for R&D projects, additional meter roll-outs while the other
a growing attention to the instruments which can be used half covers mainly investments in
interaction between the new in funding/financing smart grid automation and control systems.
technological solutions and projects are: Those projects represent
end-users. Consumers’ attitudes, workable investments, i.e.
concerns and expectations are Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). investments that will not become
increasingly factored in the Even if CEF targets primarily stranded assets but parts of smart
design of the new technological interconnectors and TSOs, under solutions for better, more resilient,
solution and in the development certain conditions also smart efficient and flexible grids. To
of consumer engagement grids projects can be labelled as guarantee this effect, the recently
strategies. As reported in the Project of Common Interest and adopted smart grids standards
European Commission’s smart possibly receive funding. Under will be an important precondition
grid inventory however, even if the first round of funding one as well as guarantee. l
smart customer and smart home smart grid Project of Common
applications have been targeted Interest (between Ireland and UK) Disclaimer: This article reflects
by many smart grid projects, they received funding support of 32 the views only of the authors.
are still in the demonstration million Euros. European Commission cannot
phase and more work is needed be held responsible for any
on their scalability and replication Structural funds. Smart Grid use which may be made of the
potential before moving to the projects are supported under information contained therein.

1  Smart Grid Projects Outlook 2014, Ref. EUR 26651 EN, at
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