JRC Scientific and policy report - Smart Grid projects in Europe: Lessons learned and current developments (2012 update)
A first data collection phase for the JRC inventory of smart grid projects ran from November 2010 to April 2011. A project questionnaire was distributed through different channels (e.g. EEGI steering committee, Smart Grid Task Force, JRC website) to European associations, system operators, utilities and Member State representatives.

This study is the 2012 update of the inventory carried out in 2011. A new on-line questionnaire was launched in March 2012 and information on projects was collected until September 2012. In parallel we conducted an extensive and detailed search of project information on the web and through cooperation links with European research organisations. We then contacted project coordinators directly to ask for more information on the on-line form.
The resulting final database is the most updated and comprehensive inventory of Smart grid and smart metering projects in Europe for 2012: it includes 281 smart grid projects and around 90 smart metering pilots and roll-outs from 30 European countries (EU27, Croatia, Switzerland and Norway), representing a total investment of € 1.8 billion. The catalogue includes around 150 R&D projects with a total budget of around €500 million and around 130 demonstration projects with a total budget of around €1 330 million. The projects surveyed have an average budget of € 6.5 million and an average duration of 35 months. The majority of the projects surveyed (62 %) are still ongoing, with 17 % due to end in 2013.
Some extracts from the "Executive summary"
Smart grid projects — investments and scale
  • Up to 2012, we identified a total of 281 smart grid projects across 30 countries (EU-27, Croatia, Switzerland and Norway), accounting for a total investment of € 1.8 billion;
  • After a first phase with some sporadic activity (2002-05), activities in smart grid projects increased dramatically from 2006 onwards;
Geographical distribution of activities and investments
  • The UK, Germany, France and Italy are the leading investors in Smart Grid projects. Denmark is the country most actively involved in R&D projects, supporting a large number of small scale projects;
  • Denmark is the country that spends the most on smart grid projects per capita and per kWh consumed;
Multinational smart grid projects — Cooperation links
  • The catalogue contains around 60 multinational projects. The majority of cooperation links are between organisations from EU15 countries. Lead organisations in multinational projects are almost exclusively from EU15 countries;
  • There are 12 multinational projects with a focus on consumer engagement (~20%);
  • There is a very limited level of collaboration between organisations from EU12 countries
Diversity of organisations in the smart grid landscape
  • DSOs/ utilities are best represented in all projects and are at the forefront in terms of investment. They are followed by university/research centres, manufacturers and IT/Telecom companies;
  • There is a good level of diversity in the smart grid landscape: several types of organisation (utilities, universities, TSOs,  manufacturers, ICT  companies, etc.) participate to significant degrees in the smart grid projects;
Private investment and funding of smart grid projects
  • Persisting uncertainty over the business case for smart grid applications and the sharing of costs and benefits among participants is a factor limiting private investments;
  • Funding still plays a crucial role in stimulating private investment in smart grid R&D and demonstration projects. 87 % of the projects have received some form of funding. Their budgets amount to over 94 % of the total investment in smart grid projects; 

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