Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Transmission Towers

Transmission Towers© John Smith (stock.xchng)

Smart grids: Europe's future electricity system will save money and energy


In a Communication released on Tuesday 12 April, the European Commission set policy directions to drive future European electricity networks towards a better energy efficiency. A report prepared by JRC's Institute for Energy (IE) on smart grids, due for publication in mid 2011, significantly contributed to the Communication.

Bringing together latest progress in Information and Communication technologies and network development will allow electricity current to flow exactly where and when it is needed at the cheapest cost. Smart grids will give in particular to consumers the ability to follow their actual electricity consumption in real time: smart meters will give consumers strong incentives to save energy and money. Estimates show that smart electricity grids should reduce CO2 emissions in the EU by 9% ad the annual household energy consumption by 10%. hey also help to ensure secure functioning of the electricity system and are a key enabler of both the internal energy market and integration of vast amounts of renewable.