Smart Grids / Energy Grids - The Techno-Scientific Developments of Smart Grids and the Related Political, Societal and Economic Implications (Study and Options Brief)

14-09-2012

The report presents the results of a project on the future of Smart Grids/Energy Grids. It discusses technological issues associated with Smart Grids, analyses implications for policy-makers, citizens and society, industry and operators, as well as regulatory and financial conditions. While current trends point to a continuing growth of the electricity demand in the future, the emergence of advanced thermal technologies may result in partly curbing such growth. Also, the predictable increase in the cost performance of distributed generation might contribute to making off-grid solutions more competitive. In addition to privacy and security issues, and to the concerns at times expressed on possible health effects, a major change of attitude is needed on behalf of utilities to actively involve and empower end-users. Full bi-directional interconnection between all network nodes, and the need to ensure real-time exchange of consumption data, call for radical changes in the business models of operators, based on a clear and reliable identification of the benefits induced by the new system and of the extent to which each actor can ultimately accrue a fair share of such benefits. A new regulatory framework is necessary to ensure the most effective type and level of incentives to stimulate the investments required by the transition towards Smart Grids, while ensuring a level playing field in the sector.

The report presents the results of a project on the future of Smart Grids/Energy Grids. It discusses technological issues associated with Smart Grids, analyses implications for policy-makers, citizens and society, industry and operators, as well as regulatory and financial conditions. While current trends point to a continuing growth of the electricity demand in the future, the emergence of advanced thermal technologies may result in partly curbing such growth. Also, the predictable increase in the cost performance of distributed generation might contribute to making off-grid solutions more competitive. In addition to privacy and security issues, and to the concerns at times expressed on possible health effects, a major change of attitude is needed on behalf of utilities to actively involve and empower end-users. Full bi-directional interconnection between all network nodes, and the need to ensure real-time exchange of consumption data, call for radical changes in the business models of operators, based on a clear and reliable identification of the benefits induced by the new system and of the extent to which each actor can ultimately accrue a fair share of such benefits. A new regulatory framework is necessary to ensure the most effective type and level of incentives to stimulate the investments required by the transition towards Smart Grids, while ensuring a level playing field in the sector.

Külső szerző

Andrea Ricci and Stefano Faberi (ISIS, project coordinators), Nicolas Brizard and Brieuc Bougnoux (Enerdata), Melanie Degel (IZT), Daniela Velte and Eduardo Garcia (Tecnalia)