A smart grid is an electricity network that uses digital and other advanced technologies to monitor and manage the transport of electricity from all generation sources to meet the varying electricity demands of end-users. Smart grids co-ordinate the needs and capabilities of all generators, grid operators, end-users and electricity market stakeholders to operate all parts of the system as efficiently as possible, minimising costs and environmental impacts while maximising system reliability, resilience and stability.
For the purposes of this roadmap, smart grids include electricity networks (transmission and distribution systems) and interfaces with generation, storage and end-users.
While many regions have already begun to “smarten” their electricity system, all regions will require significant additional investment and planning to achieve a smarter grid. Smart grids are an evolving set of technologies that will be deployed at different rates in a variety of settings around the world, depending on local commercial attractiveness, compatibility with existing technologies, regulatory developments and investment frameworks.