Distributors are being asked to implement smart grids to cater for the anticipated transition to a low-carbon econ- omy. Trouble is, no one’s quite sure what this low-carbon economy will look like or how quickly it will appear. Distributors are only one set of participants in this transi- tion. Delivering a fully functioning smart grid requires that distributors gain insight into the behaviour of consumers and suppliers as well as governments and regulators. Fortunately, there are some obvious pointers as to where to start. Most distribution networks have hot spots – stressed areas of the network that are prone to problems. Focusing on these hot spots can give distributors a chance to introduce some smart grid technology improv- ing both the network and the distributor’s bottom line. Predicting future scenarios is a difficult prospect and carries the risk of stranding your assets if you invest for growth in an area of network that fails to materialise. However, the IT equivalent of the crystal ball is at hand – in the form of Dynamics Modelling, explained in the sidebar, ‘Predicting the future with Dynamics Modelling’.