Currently, the design and operation criteria for electrical distribution networks are fastly changing due to some factors; among these, the progressive penetration of Distributed Generation (DG) is destined to cause deep changes in the existing networks, no longer considered as passive terminations of the whole electrical system. Moreover, the increasing application of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) will allow the implementation of the so called “smart grids”, determining new interesting scenarios. In the paper the problems and the potential benefits of DG, the possible new electrical distribution system models and the major research projects on smart grids are faced and reported.
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