Smart Grids: a vision and recommendations from technology providers

Published: 9 July 2010

Policies & Issues: Energy & Climate

The present paper has been drafted by Orgalime representing the engineering industry as a whole and a number of European Sector Associations including T & D Europe, ESMIG, CECED, EUROPACABLE, CAPIEL LV and CECAPI as well as member companies.

Orgalime supports the idea that an integrated strategy towards smart grids must become a priority area for the future energy strategy for Europe and welcomes the work of the European Task Force on Smart Grids Implementation which is actively supported by Orgalime members’ experts in order to issue practical recommendations to European policymakers which can be built upon in the context of the development of the EU2020 strategy. Orgalime believes that the modernisation of energy networks and smart grids should also be given a priority in negotiations on the future multiannual Financial Framework of the EU (2014-2020) which will decide on budgets for the funding of infrastructure programmes and R&D programmes as well as large scale demonstration projects. There is a significant potential for smart grid solutions that optimise the energy system as a whole – from production to distribution and consumption of energy – in the field of electricity, heat and transport.

However, in our view, the roadmap for the development of a smart grid is still not clear today and the current regulatory framework, in particular, in many member states, does not create consistent conditions to reach the objective of developing a sustainable smart grid system in Europe. Indeed the current regulatory framework will not be sufficiently flexible to deal with immediate requirements due to the change in energy mix arising from the current 20-20-20 objectives and will not offer sufficient possibilities for innovative applications in the future, in particular arising from the demands of consumers. If the EU is to pursue its environmental and climate change objectives it needs to optimise the potential of electrical energy and implement a number of technologies, products, systems and competences which will push the development of an optimised green energy system in Europe.

Orgalime believes that European legislation could also help to support the development towards a future European energy system that must be able to handle a number of new requirements and challenges highlighted in this paper.

In this first policy paper, then, we outline our core vision and initial recommendations for the development of a European smart grid and look forward to the support of the European Commission and a continued collaboration with the EU institutions for the development of smart grid policies which at the same time should enable EU’s manufacturing industry to retain leadership in technologies which will answer our societies’ requirements tomorrow.

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