A smart grid opens the door to new applications with far-reaching social and economic impact. By providing the capacity to safely integrate more renewable energy sources, electric vehicles and distributed generators into the network and by delivering power more efficiently and reliably through demand response and comprehensive control and monitoring capabilities, the smart grids enable consumers to have greater control over their electricity consumption hence fostering their participation in the electricity market.
Making the smart electricity system work requires the cooperation and integration of multidisciplinary players with different business interests, and the adoption of new compatible business models and regulations. To make this possible, among other key initiatives, in 2016 the smart specialisation platform on energy has supported the creation of an interregional partnership on smart grids. The SGs partnership is led by the Basque (ES) and by the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (FR) regions and includes other 10 European regions.
The aim of such a partnership is to highlight the most promising smart grid areas for regional development, to identify replicability/scalability investment priorities and to allocate funding resources more effectively. A special attention is given to the potential for interregional collaboration, building on existing and future synergies at institutional and industrial level. By identifying existing similarities and differences and by facilitating the effective exchange of experiences, best practices and lessons learned, regional authorities will become naturally more capable of devising more solid energy strategies. On their turn, better formulated strategies can contribute to a faster development and implementation of smart grid solutions at European level.