A report out today claims that the successful deployment of Smart Grids could save the European Union (EU) €52bn ($71bn) annually.

But the study by consultancy The Future Laboratory and Oracle Utilities warns that several key hurdles must be overcome for a Europe-wide rollout of smart technology, including a lack of investment in consumer awareness and education, the need to ensure end-to-end privacy and security, and the lack of set common standards.

The report concludes that maintaining energy security, cutting carbon emissions and even increasing economic growth all depend on an efficient Smart Grid.

Bastian Fischer, vice-president of industry strategy at Oracle, said: “The Smart Grid is crucial for a smart energy future and to meet 2050 energy efficiency targets. Although good progress has already been made by many countries, we still have a long way to go to make the Smart Grid a reality. In particular, guaranteeing privacy will be important for customer confidence and essential in encouraging the participation in smart energy.”

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