To meet the EU's 20% renewables target, about one third of the EU's total electricity consumption must be generated from renewable energy sources. A growing share of these resources will need to be accommodated by the medium- and low-voltage distribution networks. Electrifying sectors such as transport and heating & cooling will help to further decarbonise the economy. As a result, power will not only flow in one direction from the power system to the consumer, but increasingly from the customer to the power system as well.
Smart grids, or intelligent electricity networks, are fundamental in promoting the transition towards a low-carbon economy. And they offer many benefits to customers, the environment and society as a whole. A smart grid can intelligently integrate the behaviour and actions of all its users and can encourage consumers to actively manage their energy demand - for instance allowing them to shift their electricity consumption to times of lower prices. In addition, smart grids will enable distribution system operators (DSOs) to make the most of current assets and to maintain quality of service. The result: distribution grids will be much fitter for the future.
The move towards the new intelligent power system will require increased cooperation among all players in this area. DSOs, currently responsible for transporting electricity from the transmission system to customers, will be at its heart. They will make it possible for producers, service providers and customers to meet on an open market place that offers new, innovative products and services.
To read more on our work on smart grids, please visit the "10 Steps to Smart Grids" website.