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Smart Grids the Human Scale: Investigating householder participation in the decentralization, digitalization and decarbonization of energy grids in the Netherlands

  • 2 December, 2021
  • 11:00
  • Auditorium Wageningen University
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Policy
  • prof. dr ir G Spaargaren
  • dr ir BJM van Vliet

Smart grids are heralded as promising socio-technical innovation for making the energy grid more flexible and green. The involvement of householders as co-managers energy is seen as crucial to the success of smart grids, however there are uncertainties with respect to changes to everyday domestic practices as well as power and trust relations between stakeholders. Qualitative research conducted primarily in the context of smart grid pilot projects in the Netherlands generates insights into home energy management, novel collectives such as energy platforms, and householder engagement and empowerment. Smart grids are found to be both enabling and constraining of householder agency in new and specific ways. Moreover, smart grid innovations enable the emergence of novel energy collectives which entail diverse and not yet crystallized roles and engagements for householders or communities. The thesis outlines recommendations for human scale smart grid development involving co-creation with householders and mediation between stakeholders.

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Robin Smale

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