Abstract：Germany keeps a leading place in renewable energies, where the smart grid plays a key role in managing the demand and the volatile green energy supply. Germany and China face many similar challenges in energy issues, therefore, China might learn from the German experience with respect to the smart grid development:making full use of local renewable resources and then reducing the use of fossil fuels, to not only cut down CO2 emissions, but also improve the air quality, and less energy import means more energy independence and more security. Some big events or policies relevant to the smart grid development in Germany are reviewed in this paper. Field tests relevant to smart grid applications in Germany are found to focus mainly on the integrated system and the customer behavior. The smart meter as a key part of a smart grid has received some attention too. And the grid automation distribution, the grid automation transmission and the storage technology demonstration are planned to be tested in practice. In the field projects, apart from the traditional big four utility companies, Germany pays more attention to involve customers and small and medium-sized enterprises, which is an indispensable part of the innovation diffusion. Smart appliances need smart consumers. Besides the policy incentive, the user experience matters a great deal for a new product. The green energy creates many job opportunities. More investment possibilities like in the cooperatives could be provided in wind or solar parks. Supported by users and investors, new technologies have a better chance to hold a place in the market. In addition, German E-energy pilot projects provide some precious experience in the smart grid. The information and communication technology makes the energy system transparent and intelligent with respects to regional marketplaces to bring together consumers with shiftable loads, producers, energy service providers and grid operators. Electronic meters could provide the real-time information on major parts of the grid, which helps the optimization of the whole system. The demand side management (DSM) as one kind of flexibility resource, is very important for balancing the electricity generation and consumption. The potential of the DSM in the Chinese residential sector is great.
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