DEI Briefing Note: Smart grids in the city
The briefing note involves a study of the Pecan Street smart grid project in development in Austin, Texas, USA. The aim was to examine an international smart grid project and make the lessons learned from this project available to UK smart grid communities.
The project investigated the socio-economic conditions that exist within an urban area that allow a smart grid to emerge. A key question to answer was why does the development of a smart grid have a higher chance of success in Austin than it does in other cities around the world? Rather than examine how the projects themselves differ – such as in the technologies that are being used, the different forms of consumer interfaces or cost differentials between energy prices – the focus was on the base conditions of the urban environments themselves that (could) allow a smart grid to evolve and to succeed.