Smart grids are networks that use digital and other modern technologies to monitor and manage the transport of electricity from power sources across region.
International Energy Agency Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said at a smart grid conference in Paris that new technology was vital for a secure energy future.
"We need to see a much more aggressive investment in large-scale regional pilots in order to deploy smart grids at the scale they are needed," he said in a statement.
A report on smart grids form the IEA calls for greater international cooperation in pilot programs and encourages adopting common standards for new grid technology.
"In addition to funding regional pilots, governments need to establish clear and consistent policies, regulations and plans for electricity systems that will allow innovative investment in smart grids," said Tanaka. "It will also be vital to gain greater public engagement."