Study of the European Regulatory Framework for Smart Grid Solutions in Future Distribution Systems
Paper in proceeding, 2020

Electric distribution systems in Europe are facing significant challenges due to climate change goals, changing market frameworks and technological innovations, which will significantly impact the role of the distribution system operators. The nature and scale of these challenges are strongly driven by the European vision and strategies on climate and energy. This study identifies which policies can become barriers for distribution grid innovation and the implementation of advanced smart grid solutions developed within the UNITED-GRID project. After an extensive review of new policy priority areas within the energy and climate framework and electricity market design, and subsequent discussions with three partner distribution system operators, five priority barriers are identified. The results show that ambitious decarbonisation targets and changing expectations on the distribution system operators’ role in the energy system would require more flexible and efficient network management. However, binding income frameworks, lacking incentives for innovation and regulatory uncertainties hinder modernisation in distribution systems. It can be concluded that these concerns increase the risks for distribution system operators and have to be considered by research projects and developers of smart grid solutions in order to implement and achieve market uptake of the developed solutions within the next 5–10 years.

climate change


Electric distribution systems


Joni Rossi

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Ankur Srivastava

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

David Steen

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

Anh Tuan Le

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Electric Power Engineering

CIRED - Open Access Proceedings Journal

2515-0855 (ISSN)

Vol. 2020 1 800-802

CIRED 2020 Berlin Workshop, CIRED 2020
Berlin, Germany,

Integrated cyber-physical solutions for intelligent distribution grid with high penetration of renewables (UNITED-GRID)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/773717), 2017-11-01 -- 2020-04-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



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