Brussels, January 25, 2011 – There are few transformations driven by information and communication technologies that are as promising as smart grids in meeting Europe’s urgent energy challenges, according to a white paper published by SAP AG.
The paper, “Smart Grids for Europe: Benefits, Challenges, and Best Practices,” demonstrates that the pervasive application of digital information and communication technologies can help the European Union achieve its 2020 goals of increased energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions, integration of renewables and greater energy security, all of which underpin Europe’s 21st century sustainable economy and its global competitiveness.
Panelists representing smart grid stakeholders – notably the European Commission, consumers, renewables and IT and utility companies – will discuss the opportunities and obstacles for the successful rollout of smart grids, ranging from the need for a European framework to the creation of a truly single market for energy, the development of innovative business models and the need for sufficient incentives to promote private investment in smart grids.
The paper summarizes what is at stake for Europe in the smart grid transformation, SAP‘s view of Europe’s progress to date, and the company’s recommendations for moving farther and faster than the present trajectory will allow.
According to the report, countries around the world are upgrading and digitizing their energy infrastructures, moving from centralized energy systems to a decentralized model permitting the large-scale integration of renewables and small decentralized power generation.
Experts forecast that worldwide investments in smart grid infrastructure will amount to some $200 billion between 2008 and 2015. Investment in low-carbon energy has already created 1.4 million jobs in Europe, but the European Commission forecasts a doubling of these jobs provided Europe takes the necessary investment steps.
“At SAP, we are deeply committed to a leadership role in the development and application of ICT tools and technologies able to turn the smart grid vision into reality, building on our long-standing partnership with SAP customers on both the supply and demand sides of energy markets,” said Heimann.
“This deep involvement with important actors and stakeholders put us in a unique position both to assess Europe’s smart grid progress and to offer recommendations for ways to accelerate progress. The prospective benefits of smart grid transformation will extend not just to energy consumers and energy industry participants but also more widely throughout our economies and societies.”
Since 1989, SAP has offered industry-specific software solutions for the energy sector. More than 1,600 utilities in 70 countries around the globe use SAP for utilities solutions.
SAP is undertaking significant research and development in smart grids and related innovative energy services; in Europe alone, the company is participating in six European and five national collaborative energy research projects.