Smart Grids in Europe

The concept of smart grids in Europe is intertwined with an emerging vision for European industry and society over the next 40 years. Smart grids are seen as an enabler of a low-carbon Europe that, by 2050, will have reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 80% of their 1990 level and have almost completely ended its dependence on fossil fuels. In the process, Europe hopes to establish a leadership role in innovative energy technologies.

Today, much of the smart grid development in Europe mirrors the activity, drivers, and responses seen in North America and in other parts of the globe, but differences in priorities and emphasis exist. In particular, carbon reduction programs and energy efficiency are seen as primary drivers for smart grid and smart meter deployments. A program is taking shape that will take the use of smart grid technologies to another level over the next 5 to 10 years, linking them closely with the achievements of Europe’s 2020 goals.

The EU’s 20:20:20 program for 2020 – 20% reduction in GHG emission, 20% of energy provided by renewable sources, and 20% improvement in energy efficiency – is now enshrined in a wide range of national targets, laws, and regulatory orders. The importance of these targets should not be underestimated – they are providing common goals for government, utilities, service and technology providers across Europe.

This Pike Research report examines smart grid trends in Europe, and forecasts the size and growth of the market for smart grid technologies through 2020. It also forecasts smart meter deployments across Europe through 2020. The report examines the developments in European energy policy, the similarities and differences across European countries, national strategies for smart grids and smart meters, and specific European projects and pilots for smart grids. It also provides detailed profiles of ten major European countries and insight into several other key projects. The report analyzes the strategies of key players in the European market and the role of European standards bodies and other agencies promoting the adoption of smart grids.