smart grid projects heat mapEurope has spent €3.15 billion (US$4.27 billion) on more than 450 smart grid projects since 2002, according to the EU in-house scientific service Joint Research Center (JRC) in the 2014 edition of the Smart Grid Projects Outlook, a database of smart grid and smart metering projects.

JRC has created a heat map showing the location and density of smart grid projects throughout Europe (see right).

Germany has the largest number of initiatives, with 135 projects, while France and the United Kingdom have invested the most, at €500 million each.

Both countries put an average of €5 million into a project.

Denmark has invested the most in smart grids per capita and per national electricity consumption followed by Slovenia, which together with the Czech Republic, is one of the leading countries within the newer EU member states in establishing a strategy for smart grid testing and implementation.

However, Eastern European countries only account for less than 1% of the total budget.

Of the EU-15 organisations that manage the bulk of investments in smart grid projects, 90% are supported by some form of public funding.

Private capital investment amounts to 49% with the rest coming from EC (22%), national (18%) and regulatory funding (9%), and the remaining 2% is unclassified.

Smart metering

Around 200 million smart electricity meters in Europe are expected to be deployed by 2020 with an estimated investment of €35 billion.

In EU member states where the roll-out of smart metering is positively assessed, the expected penetration rate for electricity may even exceed the EU target of 80% by 2020.

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