The EU aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by the year 2020 and significantly more in the coming decades. This would require increasing the share of renewable energy in the electricity consumption of the EU countries, which is difficult with the electrical grids currently used in the majority of EU countries. The traditional electrical grids are not flexible enough to allow the effective integration of renewable energy sources.
In order to achieve such reductions in emissions, a wider adoption of smart grids needs to be implemented across the globe increasing the grid efficiency, the usage of renewable energy sources and the consumer control over their energy consumption.
Smart grids are the answer for Europe
Training the future workforce and involving society
Smart grid implementation requires:
- Significant amount of investments for replacing the current electrical grids with smart grids.
- Training of a next generation of electrical engineers, who must be knowledgeable to implement the new smart grid technologies.
The transformation in the energy sector, from traditional to smart grids, should be based on these key pillars:
Competent public authorities
Decision makers need to be informed about new developments in the energy field, their associated opportunities and impacts to be able to contribute to the development of adequate policies and support schemes.
Informed civil society
General public should be aware about emerging energy solutions, which would contribute to market uptake, deployment and use of new technology.
Skilled service providers and professional end-users
Proper training has to be implemented when new technology options become available.
The SMAGRINET project has created a smart grid competence hub, called POWER ON, in the area of smart and flexible energy systems aiming to enhance the capacity of the European universities in energy research and innovation and to engage with industry and key societal actors to respond to the challenges of the energy transition.