Smart grids are networks that monitor and manage the transport of electricity from all generation sources to meet the varying electricity demands of end users. They are, and will continue to be, deployed at different rates in a variety of settings around the world, depending on local commercial attractiveness, compatibility with existing technologies, regulatory developments and investment frameworks.

About smart grids

The widespread deployment of smart grids is crucial to achieving a more secure and sustainable energy future. As well as addressing current concerns with existing electricity systems, such as ageing infrastructure and increasing peak demand, smart grids are an important element for expanding the use of a number of low-carbon technologies, including electric vehicles and "variable" renewables (wind, solar PV, tidal and wave generation).

Our focus

Smart grid deployment strategies need to be centred on customers and business models, according to the IEA publication Energy Technology Perspectives. This calls for demonstrating and developing national strategies that articulate the benefits of smart grids to stakeholders. For system operators and utilities, key concerns are technology obsolescence, interoperable technology and system security. Consequently, transparent regulation that allows cost-reflective investment in advanced distribution network technologies will be required for sustained market development.

Energy technology initiatives

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