In Eastern Europe, the energy minister of Belarus said this week that a grid modernisation programme started in 2006 is set to boost the country's economy by US$200 million a year.
Speaking at the opening of an energy forum, Vladimir Potupchik said the impact of major grid modernisation projects undertaken by the non-EU member state on the economy is about US$600 million.
Mr Potupchik said the country has commissioned 2,350MW worth of new power-generating installations as part of a government grid modernisation programme between 2006 and 2014, according to local news agency Belta.
The minister estimated that Belarus has saved about 3 million tonnes of reference fuel during the period and the reliability of the power grid's operation "has been greatly improved".
The event - the 20th Belarusian Energy and Ecology Forum - is being held in the capital city Minsk.
The forum is being attended by energy technology providers from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Czechia, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, and China, which has sent a delegation of 32 companies.
Smart grid factory - France
In other European smart grid news, Compton Greaves, part of the Indian Avantha Group, has opened its manufacturing plant in Grenoble, France, specialising in smart solutions of HV, MV and LV electricity networks.
Last November, CG had announced the selection of Grenoble for establishing a centre for ZIV smart grid solutions in France.
Production of ERDF Linky meters at the facility will begin in January 2016, according to the timetable indicated by ERDF.
Distributed energy in Corsica
And finally, French utility Engie, formerly GDF Suez, has opened a 4.4 MWp solar power plant linked to a smart energy storage and management solution on the island of Corsica.
Output from the Solar Smart Grid plant is expected to power over 1,000 households on the Mediterranean island, reports SeeNews.
Located in southern Corsica, the solar farm comprises 13,455 ground-based photovoltaic panels, lithium-ion battery storage technology, an energy conversion device as well as a smart management system that controls and adjusts the power produced in real time.