Status of smart grid regulation in Europe


Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — September 22, 2011 – So far just four countries in Europe – Austria, Great Britain, Poland, and Sweden – have adopted a definition for smart grids, according to the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) in a survey of regulatory approaches to smart electricity grids in Europe.

Further, three countries – Austria, France, Great Britain – have a national roadmap in place. Another eleven countries – Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and to some extent the Czech Republic and Italy – have plans or concrete proposals for the development of such a national roadmap.

As smart grids become increasingly relevant in European member states, regulators are considering possible challenges to their implementation. The survey, CEER status review of regulatory approaches to smart electricity grids, which was participated in by 24 national regulatory authorities, was aimed to analyze a range of possible challenges.

Taken overall, the feedback suggests differences in the importance attached to possible challenges at national level. Some challenges have been recognized more than others. The question of dealing with incentives to improve cost effectiveness was identified, and/or commented on, by most of the countries.

The following three challenges also generated significant reaction from the national authorities:

  • How to encourage network operators to choose innovative solutions
  • The inadequacy of existing standards or lack of standards on smart-grid technology, and
  • The need to enhance the definition of national objectives and policies at political level.

The survey also found that three countries – Denmark, Great Britain, Poland – have undertaken a cost-benefit analysis of a full smart grid or specific value streams. However, six countries – Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia, The Netherlands – indicated that a cost-benefit analysis is either on-going or planned. Among these, several countries are waiting for the results of on-going demonstration projects as an instrument to carry out the planned cost-benefit analyses.