European Commission logo
JRC Smart Electricity Systems



The 2021 JRC "Smart Grids and Beyond" report presents an overview of EU research and innovation (R&I) projects in the field of smart grids funded by the last two framework programmes for R&I (the seventh EU framework programme for research, technological development and demonstration activities and Horizon 2020) and by the competitiveness and innovation framework programme. R&I projects can play a pivotal role in addressing and investigating the technological, regulatory, economic and social challenges of the energy transition, and analysing them can help to understand the direction Europe is taking and inform current and future policy developments.

The 2020 JRC "Collective action in the energy sector" report analyses EU-funded collective action projects in the energy field, building upon the JRC smart grid project inventory. The objective is to provide an overview of the current state of play of relevant research and innovation activities in the EU and to identify the research gaps to be addressed in the future. The report focuses on collective action projects that combine the use of new technologies, business models and community engagement approaches to support consumers in changing the way they use electricity. 

The 2019 JRC "Energy poverty through the lens of EU Research & Innovation projects" report, building upon the JRC smart grid projects inventory, aims to highlight the emerging trends in the efforts to tackle energy poverty in the EU and to contribute to the sharing of knowledge and best practices. It also aims to contribute to the on going debate on how EU funding can further support the combat against energy poverty and improve the living conditions of vulnerable consumers.

The 2017 JRC smart grid projects outlook includes a total of 950 smart grid projects, launched from 2002 up until today, amounting to €5 billion investment. Strong differences exist between Member States in the number of projects and the overall level and pace of investment. Private investment is clearly the most important source of financing of smart grid projects, but European and national funding play an important role in leveraging private finance and incentivising investment. Distribution system operators (DSOs) are the stakeholders with the highest investment, but non-traditional actors such as public institutions and other emerging stakeholders are steadily increasing their investment in the field. 

Previous editions of the smart grid outlook were published in 2011 and 2013.