Eurelectric Power Summit 2024: Grids4Speed, Wired for tomorrow and #LightsOn

28. 05. 2024

Eurelectric Power Summit 2024 was on for two days (22 and 23 May) in Athens, Greece. The day before the event, on 21 May, Mr Uroš Blažica, CEO of Elektro Primorska and Eurelectric Section President, attended the meeting of Board of Directors which approved the Grids4Speed study. During the Power Summit Eurelectric also officially published its report Wired for Tomorrow.

Grids for Speed outlines the distribution grid investments and enablers to achieve net zero

The Grids4Speed study, prepared by EY for Eurelectric, was approved during the Board of Directors meeting on 21 May 2024. Grids for Speed (GfS) uses the demand and generation outlook to 2050, considering the investment required for the distribution grid to manage the additional demand and generation, and the impact of three key emerging investment strategies on this investment. Ways to unlock this investment and the physical realities of delivering grids for speed are considered in an action plan to support the scale-out of the distribution grid and the benefits this will bring.

Grid investment needs to nearly double from current EUR 36 to 67 billion annually

A chain is no stronger than its weakest link; an electric and clean energy future needs to be anchored in a strong distribution grid. The distribution grid must be central to energy policy and system design, not an afterthought.

  • The distribution grid should develop at the speed of other societal mega shifts, such as decarbonisation, electrification and digitalisation.
  • Electricity grid reliability and resilience are critical in an increasingly electrified society, where electricity will make up 60% of all energy demand, compared with just 20% today.

EUR 67 billion investment annually is needed to 2050 is needed to deliver a distribution grid that will enable the energy transition. Failure to get the grid ready in time will not only slow the energy transition but also jeopardise energy security and the benefits of decarbonisation.

The electricity system is now in an exceptional period of growth, meaning that the investment profile is front-loaded. Investment must double until 2040 from roughly EUR 36 billion today, then continue at 1.7 times today’s levels through to 2050.

Innovation in distribution grids is opening up new emerging grid strategies that can reduce the investment required by around 18% to EUR 55 billion annually when supported by right regulatory environment. Those emerging grid strategies include anticipatory investment (i.e., proactively oversizing grid capacity when constraints and other works occur, in anticipation of increased demand), asset performance excellence (i.e., use of real-time data and artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise asset health) and grid-friendly flexibility (i.e., actively managing demand during peak times across voltage levels to defer grid growth).

  • Anticipatory no-regrets investment is the most cost-effective strategy for building out distribution grid capabilities that are fit for a decarbonised future.

Societal benefits

Energy bills and affordability: Efficiency gains from electrification will see energy bills almost halve by 2050 in a net-zero scenario, assuming that tax remains constant in relative terms.

Job creation: Today, direct and indirect jobs in the distribution grid sector represent around 0.4% of the EU workforce (835,000 jobs). Delivering the required GfS investment could create more than 2 million additional jobs (2 million is the population of Slovenia!).

Reliability and resilience: Reliable and resilient electricity supply has a massive societal value that far exceeds the cost of implementation. Reliable and resilient energy supply is paramount in an electric society. Already today, the value of electricity when it is unavailable is 100 times higher than its purchase price for residential customers and much higher for businesses. In 2021, the economic damage from power outages was a reported EUR 50 billion.

Decarbonisation: To meet net-zero goals, GfS investment must be accelerated. Stagnated grid investment would mean that almost three-quarters of connections for key decarbonisation technologies, such as heat pumps, EVs and renewable generation, and for use in lowcarbon industries, do not materialise. And that will jeopardise the pursuit of net zero.

Press release: Double investments in power distribution or lose Europe’s race to net-zero

The report:


Wired for Tomorrow touches on the digitalisation needs of Europe’s grids


The Eurelectric officially published its second report of the Summit, Wired for Tomorrow, which touches on the digitalisation needs of Europe’s grids as we usher in a new era of the power system.


Eurelectric, in collaboration with Accenture, exploed the critical role of digitised Distribution System Operators (DSOs). The resulting study assesses DSOs’ digital maturity across the Build, Operate, Maintain, and Data-driven capabilities, after surveying over 31 DSOs serving 80M+ customers across 21 countries. Wired4Tomorrow charts a roadmap for how DSOs can leverage digital technologies to bolster grid capacity, efficiency, and resilience, paving the way for a sustainable energy future.


Study’s key insights reveal:

  • Ecosystem-wide benefits of digitalising DSOs, making it an imperative for DSOs as it unlocks advantages for all stakeholders in the market
  • Regulatory clarity emerges as a powerful driver, with appropriate regulations advancing digitalisation and DSOs’ digital maturity
  • However, challenges persist, notably in integrating Operational Technology (OT) data into IT systems. A balanced strategy between building-out more grid digitally and using flexibility technologies is crucial, yet both capabilities currently underutilise digital technologies on average.
  • Addressing talent scarcity emerges as a top priority, necessitating specific skills and organisational change for successful digital transformation
  • Furthermore, the study scans existing technologies, showcasing the availability of ready-to-use tools, offering tangible support for DSOs in their digital journey

The report:


Lights On

Power Summit 2024 welcomed over 500 guests, 70 speakers and 50 journalists.