H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
I S S U E S E V E N
S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : E N E R G Y
In that sense, I trust more of what I see taking place in Europe than in
other regions. There is a smart grid project taking place in Korea on the
island of Jeju, and initiatives in the US; but I do not think we should be
ashamed of where we are in Europe, as there is a lot that has been done.
Tools have already been deployed, such as smart
meters for instance. What have been the early lessons
so far in smart grid developments?
In Europe, on 1 July 2007, we went through an unbundling and opening
of the market to make it more competitive. Then at the same time, we
acknowledged the need to work towards the goals of the Third
Energy Package Directive, which saw EU member states embrace
If you are in the US for example, and want to deploy smart metering in a
market that is for the majority vertically integrated, where the distribution,
retail and transmission aspects are all together in one company, it is
much easier. With one company it is much easier to roll out smart
metering. Yet in Europe we have many separated companies, through
unbundling, as there was a desire to create competition. The challenge
is, when you decide on a smart metering project, there is a need to
negotiate a great deal between companies, and with the national
government, given the regulatory burden.
That being said, two thirds of the EU’s member states have provided a
positive cost-benefit analysis on smart meters. The deadline for every
country to provide a cost-benefit analysis on the rollout of smart meters
was September 2012. This area is now being revisited by the European
Commission again to see if member states have included the correct
figures and taken account of the wider smart grid context.
cloud we could have these tools developed over
the coming year.
In the wider global context,
what is the comparative situation
for Europe? Can the region
compete with developments in Asia
or the US?
The use of energy in the United States is very
important. It is used to being more competitive
in global markets and geopolitical developments.
There is a transition taking place in the United
States where energy is not just viewed as an
economic concern, but as a geopolitical weapon
that can be used.
That being said, from the industry perspective
Europe has made good progress. Along with 35
people in 2005, I was one of the co-founders
of the European Smart Grids initiative. When I
speak with those from regions outside of
Europe about what we have put together, I get
the feeling that they do not have these forms
of associations. In terms of where we will go in
the future – in the structure of our work and
projects – we see that regions outside of
Europe, although they speak a lot about putting
forward their plans, do not see the same
concrete studies or statistics that we are
publishing in Europe.
Grid matters continue
to receive much focus