Smart Grid Policy Support will Reduce European Carbon Emissions

by Stephanie Oehler

Carbon emissions are greenhouse gases and are often targeted for reductions in order to slow the progression of climate change. The energy sector, in particular, is seen as an area with significant potential for minimizing emissions since it is responsible for such a high percentage of society’s atmospheric carbon contribution. In Europe, a plethora of smart grid technologies has been installed and more are being designed in order to increase efficiency of electricity production and transmission. Darby et al. (2013) examined six national energy markets in the European Union (EU) in order to determine how carbon emission reductions occurred with the implementation of technologies and policies, market characteristics that were conducive to reductions, the areas with the greatest potential of achieving emission reductions, and the areas in which the new systems would be most effective. They collected a variety of quantitative and qualitative data from the German, Austrian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and British markets in order to predict the emission reductions produced under three conditions: no smart grid implementation, smart grid technology implemented without legal or economic support for users, and smart grid technologies installed and supportive legislation and market conditions adopted. Continue reading