‘What’s the meaning of smart? A study of smart grids’ is a report from a multidisciplinary study conducted by Nigel Hargreaves, Jason Chilvers and Tom Hargreaves. The report contends that to be smart, electricity grids have to not only be consistent with current infrastructures and other technologies in a technical sense, but also encourage engagement and adoption by end-users.
A key lesson from the study is that visions of future smart grids should not be constrained to purely technical ones, but should be receptive to the multiple perspectives, visions, hopes and concerns of different sectors and energy actors. The findings demonstrate that smart grids are not merely technical objects, but their success also depends upon integration with social smartness. The overall argument is that the processes of policy-making, decision-making, design and innovation creating future smart grids will be distributed and multiple, and therefore the strategies adopted for accounting for the social dimensions of these processes will themselves have to be diverse rather than prescriptive.
Download What’s the meaning of smart? Sociotechnical report.