Smart business for smart users? A social science agenda for developing smart grids

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Abstract

The promise of smart grids is very attractive. However, it is not yet clear what the future smart grid will look like. Although most researchers acknowledge that users will play a more prominent role in smart grids, there is a lot of uncertainty on this issue. To counter the strong techno-logical bias in smart grid research and literature, we propose that re-search should focus more on the social and business dimension of smart grid developments. The main elements of such a research agenda are:
• Developing more socially embedded visions on smart grids and the services it will provide;
• A shift in the focus on developing smart grids components and systems towards the services it will deliver
• Development and testing of innovative user-centered business models and ecosystems
More general, on the role of users in smart grids, the main lesson is that user roles should be taken more seriously in relation to smart grids: ex-perts should no longer regard users exclusively and/or simply as potential barriers to smart grid innovation but also as important stakeholders and potential participants in the innovation process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart grids from a global perspective
Subtitle of host publicationbridging old and new energy systems
EditorsA. Beaulieu, J. de Wilde, J.M.A. Scherpen
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherSpringer
Pages27-42
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-28077-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-28075-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePower Systems
ISSN (Print)1612-1287

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  • Cite this

    Verbong, G. P. J., Verkade, N., Verhees, B., Huijben, J. C. C. M., & Höffken, J. I. (2016). Smart business for smart users? A social science agenda for developing smart grids. In A. Beaulieu, J. de Wilde, & J. M. A. Scherpen (Eds.), Smart grids from a global perspective : bridging old and new energy systems (pp. 27-42). (Power Systems). Berlin: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28077-6_3