The transition towards a more sustainable energy supply system causes changes in the supply and demand of energy and requires more flexible and efficient operation of the electricity distribution grids. It calls for smart grids with embedded intelligent control to incorporate electricity storage and controllable loads. This will ensure cost-effective development of an efficient and reliable electricity system that allows the large-scale integration of distributed generation. A holistic approach is needed to realise these smart grids. The different issues which need to be addressed to make smart grids a successful reality are covered in this article. First, the most important issues from a technological viewpoint are identified. However, adapting the grids to future developments goes far beyond simply developing and implementing technologies. Changes in technological systems affect the institutional design applied in those systems. An integral view of technical, institutional, economic and social aspects is needed to realise steps towards putting smart grids into practice. This article highlights the needed changes towards smart grids from the technological perspective of a Dutch distribution system operator (DSO) and elaborates on the implications of these changes for the regulation for this sector.
|Journal||Competition and Regulation in Network Industries|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|