In the first part of the seminar, the changes in the electricity system in Europe in general and Belgium in particular are highlighted. These changes are partly technology-driven and partly imposed by the on-going deregulation according the EU guidelines. This has brought about many initiatives to introduce renewable energies and power-efficient systems, but also political problems and a heavy congestion problem. A short overview will be given, thereby indicating the differences with the US.The second part will discuss some recent and on-going research projects of the electrical energy research group and the Energy Institute of the KULeuven. These projects on local, national and European level deal with different technological challenges related to the introduction of distributed generation, including small photovoltaic systems, power quality, metering and communication issues, the implementation of off-shore windparks and the evolution in (public) transport such as high-speed trains.Johan Driesen is a senior researcher (postdoc) from the KULeuven, Belgium,electrical energy research group, currently working as a visiting scholar in the UCB EECS department, power electronics group.