Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — April 30, 2013 – Up to September 2012, a total of 281 smart grid projects and around 90 smart metering pilots and rollouts have been identified across 30 countries in Europe, accounting for total investments respectively of €1.8 billion and at least €5 billion, according to the Joint Research Center’s latest review.

Of these smart grid projects around 150 are R&D projects with a total budget of around €500 million and around 130 are demonstration projects with a total budget of around €1.3 billion.

The review is an update of the first, 2011 review, which included 219 smart grid and smart metering projects across the EU, Switzerland and Norway with overall investment over €5 billion.

According to the 2012 review, Smart Grid projects in Europe: Lessons learned and current developments, since 2008 investments in smart grid projects in Europe have consistently been above €200 million per year, reaching €500 million in 2011. Project budgets have also been growing steadily, with 61% over €20 million in 2012 compared with 27% in 2006

The U.K., Germany, France and Italy are the leading investors in smart grid projects. However, Denmark is the country most actively involved in R&D projects, supporting a large number of small scale projects, as well as the country that spends the most on smart grid projects per capita and per KWh consumed.

Notably also around 60 of the projects are multinational, with the majority of cooperation links between organizations from EU15 countries.

Regarding the smart metering projects the review states that the main investments to date have been in Italy (€2.1 billion) and Sweden (€1.5 billion). However, it is not possible to reliably ensure an accurate and comprehensive mapping of all the initiatives due to their considerable number.

But on the basis of commitments or strong interest from member states it is estimated that at least €30 billion will be spent and at least 170-180 million smart meters (approximately 70% penetration) will be installed in the EU countries by 2020.

The report reviews the 27 EU countries as well as Croatia, Switzerland and Norway.