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Due to the adverse impacts of the consumption of fossil fuels on our environment, the quest for a more sustainable energy supply is increasingly intensifying worldwide. Many renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and tidal power generate electricity. Therefore, the development towards a sustainable energy supply leads to increasing electrification. The decreasing degree of controllability of electricity production and the high, but rare production peaks caused by distributed generation require involving electricity consumption in balancing supply and demand. To this end, electricity networks must develop into “Smart Grids”. One of the consequences of this trend is a vastly increased need to acquire, process and communicate data, both for measurement and control purposes. In the contribution, first the background of the development towards Smart Grids will be studied in more detail. Then, the various functionalities and corresponding architectures and sensing and control requirements will be discussed for different Smart Grid concepts.