European Energy and Environmental Law Review

Volume 20 (2011)

Volume 20 (2011) / Issue 2

Simone Pront-van Bommel, 'Smart Energy Grids within the Framework of the Third Energy Package' (2011) 20 European Energy and Environmental Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 32–44


The installation, design and functional potential of energy distribution networks are expected to change dramatically over the next decade. This process is essential to meet the specific demands set by the European legislator. Power distribution and transmission systems are being transformed into smart grids. But what is a smart grid? There is no single conclusive definition of what constitutes a "smart grid". One of its major features involves the architecture of an intricately automated infrastructure to facilitate the envisaged renewable power distribution. The development of smart grids is subject to binding legal requirements as laid down in the Third Energy Directive. The aim of this article is to explore and describe some of the key features of smart grids, and to use this as an instrument of analysis to identify the demands of the European Energy Legislation with respect to smart grids more clearly. Still, a lot remains to be clarified. For instance, another major issue that deserves closer consideration concerns the interrelation with telecommunications and defining its legal aspects under new EU NRF legislation. This article's focus is restricted to an analysis of the legal and regulatory framework for the energy sector only.

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ISSN: 0966-1646
ID: EELR2011003