27 September 2019
Professor Rafael Leal-Arcas, who is the Jean Monnet Chair in EU International Economic Law at Queen Mary University of London, has recently published the findings of his WiseGRID research grant:
In line with the European Union’s energy and climate targets for 2030, the European Commission has put forward a vision of an integrated energy system capable of delivering energy efficiency and a low-carbon economy. The increasing digitalisation of the energy system will serve as the vehicle to a carbon-free, decentralized, and democratized system of energy generation and transmission. The introduction of smart grids across EU Member States will contribute to the shift towards a more sustainable energy system. This article will assess the eligibility and readiness for the implementation of smart grids in three jurisdictions of the European Union: Hungary, Cyprus, and Lithuania. The main focus of the article is the electricity market in these jurisdictions. It is in this context that the article will assess the extent to which the regulatory framework in these countries is favorable to the successful implementation of smart-grid technology.
This article aims to provide useful insights into Romania’s and Malta’s electricity sector, and critically assess the extent to which their current state is conducive to European Union (EU) ‘smart grid’ objectives of energy decentralization and decarbonization. The article concludes that Malta has embraced reforms aimed at diversifying the energy sector, including the deployment of renewable energy sources, electric vehicles, smart meters and smart grids, all of which are aimed at tackling climate change challenges. Romania, on the one hand, enjoys relative energy independence and security vis-à-vis its EU peers, but also other neighbouring countries, while, on the other, it remains one of the most energy-intensive and polluting EU Member States. At the same time, Romania’s performance in relation to increasing the share of renewable energy sources in energy consumption and electricity production places it among the leaders at the regional and EU levels, particularly in terms of wind-generated power.