The EU has set a binding target of 20% share of energy from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. The development of smart grids is generally understood as a crucial condition to achieve this target. Reaching the target would enable the integration of renewable energy into the power grid. Existing smart grid initiatives provide good lessons from which others can learn. The Low-carbon Economy platform aims to foster this exchange of experience and to support regions in their transition.

SINCRO.GRID project under the Connecting Europe Facility

The EU Member States have agreed, with the help of the Connecting Europe Facility, to invest 444 million euros in 18 energy projects supporting the European Energy Union. The investments aim to connect the European energy networks, increase security of energy supply, and contribute to the sustainable development by integrating renewable energy sources.

The SINCRO.GRID project is implemented by the Slovenian and Croatian power transmission and distribution system operators and focuses on smart grid. EU grant to the project is 40 million euro. The project aims to smarten the existing grid via

  • a 10MW storage system
  • the integration of 2MW renewable energy generation sources (small hydropower and biogas)
  • short-term demand forecasting tools, and an advanced cross-border control system to optimise the use of fossil and renewable sources

The SINCRO.GRID partners will firstly conduct a study on how to further develop an implement the project.

SET-UP project under Interreg Europe

The Interreg Europe SET-UP project also deals with smart grid. The project is implemented by partnership of eight, led by the French Bretagne Development Innovation organisation. The project aims to improve the development of smart grids via

  • consumer empowerment, and
  • the development of economic/business model to explore investment possibilities for smart network infrastructure

The SET-UP partners will identify and analyse social, economic and financial frameworks in smart energy systems in their regions to subsequently share best practices and draft a development action plan.

 SINCRO.GRID forms an interesting showcase for SET-UP of two countries cooperating to find a suitable business model to strengthen their energy system. It also provides an interesting example of investment possibilities for "intelligent" network infrastructure, allowing both, the integration of large-scale renewables capacities as well as the optimisation of demand and supply.

Information on the Connecting Europe new investment package can be found on the European Commission’s webpage.