24 April 2014
Diplomatic Academy Vienna

Smart Grids - The future of electricity supply?

IIASA Researcher Nadeja Komendantova-Amann joins the Diplomatic Academy's ETIA talks on the future of smart grids

Smart Grids: Next Step into the Future

A smart grid is a modern electrical grid that gathers information, such as about consumer behavior and energy supply data, in an automated manner, with the aim to improve the efficiency, reliability and sustainability of electricity production and distribution.

As world population continues to rise, living standards improve, fossil fuels become scarcer and the interest for cleaner technologies increases, new and innovative concepts become crucial for the maintenance of a secure energy supply towards social and economic stability. Proper management is necessary to improve energy efficiency and to allow the optimal integration of renewable energies into the grid.

The panel discussion aims to evaluate the development stage of smart grids and to outline their advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, it hopes to illustrate practical examples of smart grid solutions hoping to address some of the challenges, while also demonstrating the lessons learned.

Questions that will be addressed include:

  • What is the technical design of smart grids now and in 2025/50?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of smart grids?
  • Where are smart grids used already?
  • What can we learn from experience to date?
  • What social adjustments are needed to successfully deploy smart grids?
  • What obstacles do smart grids face and are the constraints of a technological, economical, political, or social nature?
  • Which option/technology is most promising for low-income countries?
  • What is the utility of smart grids for sustainable development and improved access in off grid areas?
  • How can renewable alternatives be integrated into smart grid development?
  • Are there any negative impacts to be expected from implementing smart grids for human health or the environment? What are the implications for security, privacy, potential attacks of grids?
  • What are the most relevant players in implementing smart grids?


Nadejda Komendantova-Amann (Research Scholar Risk Policy and Vulnerability, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis-IIASA)

Thomas Bleier (Head of ICT Security, , Safety & Security Department, Austrian Institute of Technology)

Andreas Lugmaier (Chairman, National Technology Platform Smart Grids

Gerald Vones (Head of Energy technology & Innovation, Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy)

Opening remarks by Günther Brauner (Vienna University of Technology, VP Austrian National Committees CIGRE, CIRED and the World Energy Council)

Moderation by Jakob Zirm (Journalist, Die Presse)

Sources: Diplomatic Academy, ETIA talks

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    Last edited: 10 June 2014


    Nadejda Komendantova

    Research Scholar

    Advanced Systems Analysis/Advancing Systems Analysis

    T +43(0) 2236 807 285


    Further Information

    International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
    Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
    Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313