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H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L



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

smart metering.

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