Smart Grids aim to make Clusters and SMEs more Energy Efficient

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 30 November 2021

Energy Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) are cross-border energy infrastructure projects for building a more integrated and resilient EU energy market. 

On 19 November, the EU adopted the 5th list of energy Projects of Common Interest. The list contains 98 projects, including 67 in electricity transmission and storage, 20 in gas, 6 CO2 network projects and 5 smart grid projects. The projects will make an important contribution to the increased renewable energy under the European Green Deal. 

Smart grids are fitted with sensors that gather and transmit data. This information makes it possible to automatically adjust electricity flows. Grid managers, who are located remotely, are informed of the situation in real-time and can act immediately if there is a problem. European smart grid projects will improve the efficiency of networks, cross-border data coordination and safer grid management.  

By adopting smart metering, businesses can help the EU to become a global climate leader and dramatically reduce its carbon footprint. For example, businesses incorporating smart meters can participate in grid-balancing services such as energy storage which helps maintain a consistent and reliable energy supply. In turn, businesses are likely to reduce their waste. 

In 2020, the Commission launched the  Smart Grids lab, which aims to encourage innovation to adapt to the future energy model. In its second phase, clusters and sectoral associations have opened the lab to companies, producers and consumers’ representatives, paying particular attention to participants’ needs. The strategic objectives are reviewed according to stakeholders’ needs.  

An example of clusters adopting sustainable energy is the Basque Energy Cluster which aims to become a global leader in smart grids. The Basque Country has a powerful industrial sector supplying high-value products and services. It has companies that design, manufacture, install and maintain the equipment and devices for electricity networks. This sector has products and services of a medium and high technological level, skilled jobs, high percentages of investment in knowledge generation and research and development, as well as a great market potential at a global level. 

Find out more about Smart Grids here. 

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