Under the 2030 policy framework, smart grids alongside interconnectors and storage will facilitate the transformation of energy infrastructure in order to accommodate higher shares of variable renewable energy and ensure security of energy supply.

Indeed, smart grids enable instant responsiveness, support flexibility, and can cost-effectively help to integrate variable generation and storage to improve grid control and security of supply, and modulate consumption according to changing situations and market signals. Smarter grids will also be able to integrate new loads such as electric vehicles. This is cardinal as Europe now aims at the electrification of transport.

Our networks should therefore be ready to cope with increasing demand and provide a technology platform for the development of novel services and smart solutions in grid infrastructure and related ICT, but also in home automation and appliances.

However, to achieve all of these benefits, due attention must be paid to the corollary that is inherent to smart grid’s wide integration of ICT into energy systems and to the enhanced personal data processing1 they entail: guarantees for data protection, privacy and security are vital for smart grids’ uptake, their proper functioning and for consumers’ acceptance.

The European Commission (DG ENER) has therefore initiated action on security, data protection and privacy in the smart grids field. The Commission Recommendation of March 20122 on preparations for smart metering rollout included....

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