Workshop: The Smart Grid

The future social robustness of smart electricity networks in Europe

The EPINET embedding workshops on the future social robustness of smart electricity networks in Europe took place on 16 and 17 January 2014 in Hilversum, The Netherlands. The workshop brought together 19 participants.

The purpose of the workshop has been to better understand and shape European policies on smart electricity grids by making explicit the incongruences in diverse visions and promises on smart grids and values behind it, in order to improve these visions and integrate different perspectives.

The workshop consisted of three sessions:

  • Session 1 (day 1) was future oriented and focussed on the questions: what should a socially robust smart electricity grid look like? What social values (c.q. goals) should be served in a future smart grid?
  • Session 2 (day 2 morning) focussed on the present developments: what values are served in the way the current smart electricity grid(s) are being shaped? What are main (political) challenges?
  • Session 3 (day 2 afternoon) reflected on and analysed discrepancies between the two in order to identify and explore latent controversies and their implications for governance of the smart grid innovation. It also identified knowledge gaps & challenges.

The workshop was set up as a structured group interview where each of the external participants presented a short vision statement on each session theme, and next the EPINET participants asked questions to further elicit, clarify and sharpen each vision presented.

Two key questions were central in the program:

  • What should a socially robust smart electricity grid look like? What social values should be served in a future smart grid?
  • What values are served in the way the current smart electricity grid(s) are being shaped? What are main (political) challenges?

The workshop identified major gaps between a desired future for smart grids and the actual developments.

 

Download the Workshop Report