Smart Grids from a Global Perspective: bridging old and new energy systems

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Smart grids are a complex phenomena that involve new roles for consumers, advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), new markets, security of supply issues, the informational turn in energy, valuation of assets and investments, technological innovation and (de)regulation. Across this diversity, smart grids can be seen as innovations that create new interfaces between formerly separate domains, in turn creating hybrid fields (for example, smart grids are at the intersection of energy and mobility). These interactions hold the potential for new roles, new markets and organisational forms and for novel social, political and cultural practices. To what extent are these possibilities realised? How can we understand change and continuity in current transformations brought about by smart grids? How do different types of expertise contribute to the development of this phenomenon?
A cross-disciplinary approach is invaluable to gain understanding of this complexity and to understand the potential futures of smart grids. This collection of contributions from leading researchers will enable readers to come to grips with this complexity and promise of smart grids, and to better understand the technical, social, economic, legal and psychological dimensions of smart grids. This complexity meets in strategic decision-making both by governments and firms.

Bringing these elements together in a coherent manner is no simple task. This book is therefore designed as a series of chapters that examine distinct issues around smart grids, while being integrated into an overarching discussion. This discussion will be pursued through interaction between the authors in the course of preparation of the book. While the individual chapters can stand on their own and be used for teaching purposes, the book as a whole serves as an overview of the different fields in smart grids, and links them in a coherent manner.
The various contributions arise from lectures delivered at the Groningen Energy Summer School and are framed by an introduction by the editors. As such, the various contributions are in conversation with each other. Furthermore, the setting of the summer school enables the editors to insert additional pedagogical material at the end of each contribution (a list of discussion points and further readings), based on the discussions and debates that arise at the event.
This collection is therefore not only a set of highly interesting contributions, but it is also a demonstration how experts from different disciplines can collaborate in moving towards a sustainable and secure energy supply enabled by smart grid technologies. Readers will also gain a deeper understanding of how their own expertise fits in the dynamics of transition.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages283
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-28075-2
Publication statusPublished - 16-Feb-2016

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