Governing effective and legitimate smart grid developments

Langendahl, Per-Anders; Cook, Matthew; Potter, Stephen; Roby, Helen and Collins, Trevor (2016). Governing effective and legitimate smart grid developments. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Energy, 169(3) pp. 102–109.



Smart grids which use Information and Communication Technologies to augment energy network management have been developed in several locations including London and Stockholm. Common rationales for smart grids include: de-carbonising energy supply, maintaining security of supply and promoting affordability. However, beyond these general abstractions, smart grids seem to exhibit considerable diversity in terms of their characteristics and rationales for development. Thus, while the term smart grid may imply abstract notions of what smart grids are and might do, they are developed in response to local contingencies and diverse. In this paper we therefore explore the governance processes through which smart grids are constructed. The paper suggests that standardising smart grids through definitions and best practices that fix both problems and solutions should be avoided. Rather governance processes should be promoted in which local contingencies can be articulated and more legitimate smart grids developed in response to these.

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