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This paper discusses historical and technical events in the U.S. and Europe over the last few years that are aimed at modernizing the electric power grid. The U.S. federal government has ratified the “smart grid initiative” as the official policy for modernizing the electricity grid including unprecedented provisions for timely information and control options to consumers and deployment of “smart” technologies. European countries are unified in researching and developing related technologies through various structures supported by the European Union. This paper presents the development of smart grids and an analysis of the methodologies, milestones, and expected evolutions of grid technologies that will transform society in the near future.