Tuesday 24th February 2015
Professor Harriet Bulkeley of Durham University shares insights from the UK's largest smart grid project at the UCL Energy Institute.
Smart grids are increasingly touted as essential for meeting the challenges of security, economy and environment facing electricity networks across many developed economies. To date, much of the analysis of the potential of smart grids has focused on their technical and economic aspects. Yet as the literature on socio-technical transitions has established, achieving transformation in the ways in which electricity systems are configured is also a deeply social and political matter.
This lecture from Professor Harriet Bulkeley of Durham University explores the ways in which smart grids are being deployed and experienced in the UK. Drawing on the case of the Customer-Led Network Revolution, a research and development project led by Northern Powergrid under the LCN Fund programme, it examined how customers engaged with different facets of the smart grid – from smart meters to time of use tariffs and different kinds of low carbon technologies – and examines the implications for our current understanding of electricity use and the ways in which low carbon transitions may (or may not) require customer engagement.