Unlocking Smart Grid Opportunities in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies

Unlocking Smart Grid Opportunities In Emerging Markets And Developing Economies

About this report

The clean energy transition requires a fundamental transformation of power systems, including much higher levels of digitalisation at scale across all grid domains, from generation to transmission and distribution to end-use. Strong policy attention is required to scale up investments in smarter and more resilient grids in emerging and developing economies where electricity consumption is set to grow at a rapid rate while also providing greater levels of electricity access. Investments in smarter and more resilient grids will be necessary to accommodate the greater deployment of renewable energy and enhance energy security.

Digital technologies designed for power systems are instrumental to unlock essential system services required to integrate high shares of variable renewable energy. They can also provide solutions to leverage data flows, connectivity, and management across the whole electricity system. To unlock these digital opportunities, adequate planning, investment, and policy action are needed.

As part of the Digital Demand Driven Electricity Networks (3DEN) initiative, this report provides guidance for energy policy makers on possible ways to enable and drive investments in smart and resilient electricity grids. It also gives suggestions on how to start creating an environment that supports the effective use of innovative digital technologies within the electricity sector. It draws on examples and case studies to show the wide range of digital opportunities and solutions that can help governments implement efficient and smart power systems. 

The IEA gratefully acknowledges the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security for their support of this project as part of their contributions to the IEA’s Digital Demand Driven Electricity Networks Initiative (3DEN) on electricity grid modernisation and digitalisation and to the Clean Energy Transitions Programme and Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico, RSE Spa for the technical advice to the above Italian Ministries since the 3DEN project inception.