Listed below are the key regulatory trends impacting the smart grid in power theme, as identified by GlobalData.

Smart grid policies and incentives

Government policies and initiatives are key enablers for smart grid adoption. Innovative policies and regulations have helped in creating environments for market demand to augment the implementation of smart grids in some countries, which was achieved through the provision of profitable business opportunities for stakeholders. Many governments view smart grids as strategic infrastructure that will support long-term economic prosperity and help them attain their carbon emission reduction targets.

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The European Union (EU) member states consented to the EU Commission’s proposal for an investment of $1.147bn (€998m) in energy infrastructure in October 2020. The EU Commission, through its Clean Energy Package, incorporates measures to enable grid operators to deploy smarter technology. The EU also introduced a Strategic Energy Technology plan in 2007 for the development of a smart electricity system over the next 30 years.

The major reasons for increased smart grid investment in the US include enhancement of reliability, connections to renewable resources, demand shifts, increase in cost, and market reforms that create more options for independent generators and require new connections to transmission systems. Policy and regulatory drivers at the federal and state levels for demand response, energy storage, net metering, and cybersecurity have been the major drivers for innovation in energy efficiency programmes, analytical tools, two-way communication systems, and consumer engagements in the US.

Set up roadmaps for standardisation and interoperability

New services and development of technology platforms has increased the requirement for devices to communicate and function seamlessly throughout all levels of the grid. Smart grids enable technologies to be positioned in a part of the energy system and connect with elements in various sectors and geographies as well as be utilised by numerous stakeholders across the power value chain.

Lack of interoperability between different elements such as electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, smart metering infrastructure, remote monitoring and control equipment is considered as a key hurdle to stepping up and transferring solutions, which have been validated in a different network, city or system.

This is an edited extract from the Smart Grid in Power – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.