San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Smart grids are increasingly touted as essential for meeting the challenges of security, economy and environment facing electricity networks across many developed economies. To date, much of the analysis of the potential of smart grids has focused on their technical and economic aspects. Yet as the literature on socio-technical transitions has established, achieving transformation in the ways in which electricity systems are configured is also a deeply social and political matter. This talk will explore the ways in which smart grids are being deployed and experienced in the UK. Drawing on the case of the Customer Led Network Revolution, a research and development project led by Northern Powergrid under the LCNF, it will examine how customers engaged with different facets of the smart grid – from smart meters to time of use tariffs and different kinds of low carbon technologies – and examine the implications for our current understanding of electricity use and the ways in which low carbon transitions may (or may not) require customer engagement.
Harriet Bulkeley is a Professor in the Department of Geography, Durham University. Her research focuses on the processes and politics of environmental governance. Her recent books Governing the Climate: new approaches to rationality, power and politics (Ed. CUP 2014) Transnational Climate Change Governance (CUP, 2014), and An Urban Politics of Climate Change (Routledge 2014). She was awarded a Leverhulme Prize in 2007 and an ESRC Climate Change Leadership Fellowship in 2008. She is currently involved in researching the politics and practice of smart grids in the UK, low carbon transitions in southern Africa, and continuing work on urban responses to climate change through the JPI Urban and ESRC project Governing Urban Sustainability Transitions (GUST 2014 – 2017). Harriet has undertaken commissioned research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Friends of the Earth, UN-Habitat and the World Bank and is a member of the DECC DEFRA Social Science Advisory Group. In 2014, she was awarded the King Carl XVI Gustaf’s Professorship in Environmental Science and a Visiting Professorship at Lund University, Sweden.
When & Where
UCL Energy Institute
About the UCL Energy Institute:
Founded in June 2009, the UCL Energy Institute (UCL-Energy) was established as UCL’s response to the global challenges of mitigating climate change and providing energy security in the 21st century. UCL-Energy, which sits within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL, brings together different perspectives, understandings and procedures in energy research, transcending the boundaries between academic disciplines. It coordinates multidisciplinary teams from across the University, with the aim of accelerating the transition to a globally sustainable energy system through world-class energy research, education and policy support. www.ucl.ac.uk/energy Follow on Twitter @ucl_energy