Smart grids or smart users? Involving users in developing a low carbon electricity economy
Journal article, 2013
This article analyses practices and perceptions of stakeholders on including users in smart grids experiments in the Netherlands. In-depth interviews have been conducted and smart grid projects have been analysed, using a Strategic Niche Management framework. The analysis shows that there is a clear trend to pay more attention to users in new smart grid projects. However, too much focus on technology and economic incentives can become a barrier. Some institutional barriers have been identified. New innovative business models should be developed to explore different options to involve users. The many pilot and demonstration projects that are taking shape or are being planned offer an excellent opportunity for such an exploration. Learning on the social dimensions of smart grids, and the international exchange of experiences can prevent a premature lock-in in a particular pathway. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Strategic niche management