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The term Smart Grid describes the idea of the future power system. The shortage of fossil primary energy resources has led - under introduction of deregulation and liberalization of the electricity market - to this new concept of the power system. More local generation, especially from renewable, are already present in the power systems of Europe and other countries such as Japan and the USA. This change in generation has influenced the structure of the power system from a centralized to decentralized one and is the main challenge in its planning and operation. This paper shows the general perspective of the Smart Grid from the European and Russian point of view. The definition of Smart Grid is discussed and the important elements of it are presented. Furthermore, the distributed energy resources such as wind, PV, CHP are characterized and their role in the future power system related to the current experiences in Germany and in Russia is shown. The explanations are based on the experiences of the authors and literature studies.