Le reti elettriche intelligenti: recenti sviluppi a livello europeo

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Magazine Papers
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F. Gangale
V. Giordano
G. Fulli

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Meeting the EU’s climate change and energy policy objectives for 2020 and beyond will require a major transformation of our electricity infrastructure. Strengthening and upgrading existing networks is of paramount importance to integrating an increasing amount of renewable energy generation, enhancing grid security, developing the internal energy market and realising energy saving and efficiency. To achieve these goals it is not only necessary to build new lines and substations, but it is essential to make the overall electricity system smarter through the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Smart Grids can be described as an upgraded electricity network enabling two-way information and power exchange between suppliers and consumers, thanks to the pervasive incorporation of intelligent communication monitoring and management systems. For Smart Grids to deliver their envisaged benefits however, the realisation of physical infrastructures alone will not be sufficient and must be complemented by the emergence of new business models and practices, new regulations, as well as more intangible elements such as changes to consumer behaviour and social acceptance.

In the last few years, initiatives on Smart Grids, with different aims and results, have been growing in number and scope throughout Europe. Substantial public and private investments have been made in research and development (R&D), demonstration and deployment activities.  In this perspective, the JRC has carried out a survey to assess the state of play of smart grid projects in Europe and to analyse the main obstacles and challenges to their further development. The study aimed at sharing the results of these projects as a means to increasing the stock of knowledge and accelerating the innovation process. In the next paragraphs we will present some results of this analysis, which was carried out in collaboration with DG Enel and contributed to the drafting of the Commission Communication “Smart Grids: from innovation to deployment”, adopted in April 2011.