EY consultant: Europe is lagging behind in power grid digitalisation

The volume of solar panels and electric cars connected to the grid is still manageable for now. But massive new load expected from electric vehicles in the coming years will require stepping up network digitalisation, warns Serge Colle.

Serge Colle is global power & utilities advisory leader at EY, a consulting firm. He spoke to EURACTIV’s Frédéric Simon on the sidelines of an event organised by industry association Eurelectric on 24 January, From Pipes to Platforms New DSO Business Models. Colle is the lead author of an EY report on the digitalisation of the electricity sector that was presented at the event.

European electricity utilities and grid operators – how far have they come in the digital transformation?

It’s a mixed picture. If you look at the volumes of solar panels and electric cars put on the network, you can say that utilities and DSOs are coping with this. So in a sense, you could say they are doing well.

But if you look at digitalisation, Europe is lagging behind countries like the US where over 50% of consumers already have a smart meter for example. But this is not necessarily the DSO’s choice – smart meter deployment is often driven by a regulatory agenda.

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