Advertisement

Grid Dependencies and Change Capacities: People and Demand Response Under Renewables

  • Mithra MoezziEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)

Abstract

Much of everyday activity in highly technologically developed societies involves electricity from a centralized grid. This is most evident during blackouts—at which point the availability of many routine forms of information, communication, light, money, and other connectors are quickly depleted. The expectation of perfect electricity has accompanied an evolution of social practices that absolutely require a working electricity system, while practices that escape that system become abandoned or antiquated. By definition, during supply shortages, societies adapt. In less-developed countries, especially those experienced with unreliable power, and with less-dense ties to the grid, there is established capacity to cope, including substituting non-electricity for electricity, and adjusting the timing of activities. In areas that expect perfect electricity, and rarely experience failures, however, reliance on electricity is higher and coping is more fragile. Drawing on social practice theories and history of technology, this chapter explores examples in the evolution of the grid dependence and develops a concept of sociotechnical resilience. Sociotechnical resilience refers to the degree to which basic activities can be decoupled from the grid, and how they do so. This resilience obviously matters in the case of blackouts and severe supply restrictions, but it also speaks to flexibility within “portfolios” of practices in terms of their synchronization with electricity supply. Demand flexibility is expected to become increasingly important in future scenarios where electricity supply has evolved to include much higher penetrations of renewables. To date, most of the debate on how this flexibility will occur has focused on “demand response,” particularly through individual end-user behaviors, and well as through isolated and largely private backup systems to provide temporary power. Focusing instead on sociotechnical resilience broadens the scope of flexibility by looking at people, technologies, and adaptation in a more connected and intricate combination. In addition to the power markets and generation capacity markets that already exist, there is thus a need to recognize, maintain, and further develop the sociotechnical capacity to do without electricity. This possibility is rarely included within the usual boundaries of debates about the renewables and the grid, or balancing supply and demand. To illustrate, the chapter provides examples from supply disruptions in both more-developed and less-developed countries, explores how policies, language, technology design, and the public sphere might better recognize and build this sociotechnical capacity.

Keywords

Smart Grid Electricity Market Demand Response Demand Management Power Outage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Aghaei, J., and M.I. Alizadeh. 2013. Demand response in smart electricity grids equipped with renewable energy sources: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 18: 64–72.Google Scholar
  2. Amin, S.M. 2011. US grid gets less reliable. IEEE Spectrum 48 (1): 80.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anders, S. 2015. Half-Empty Planes: Utilization Rates for California’s Electric Grid Part II. The EPIC Energy Blog. https://epicenergyblog.com/2015/07/14/half-empty-planes-utilization-rates-for-californias-electric-grid-part-ii/.
  4. Anderson, G.B., and M.L. Bell. 2012. Lights out: Impact of the August 2003 power outage on mortality in New York, NY. Epidemiology 23 (2): 189–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Apt, J., L.B. Lave, and M.G. Morgan. 2006. Energy conundrums: Power play: A more reliable US electric system. Issues in Science and Technology 22 (4): 51–58.Google Scholar
  6. Ballo, I.F. 2015. Imagining energy futures: Sociotechnical imaginaries of the future smart grid in Norway. Energy Research & Social Science 9: 9–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernard, S.M., and M.A. McGeehin. 2004. Municipal heat wave response plans. American Journal of Public Health 94 (9): 1520–1522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bothwell, C., and B.F. Hobbs. 2016. Crediting Renewables in Electricity Capacity Markets: The Effects of Alternative Definitions Upon Market Efficiency. Working paper, Department of Geography & Environmental Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University.Google Scholar
  9. Burchell, K., R. Rettie, and T.C. Roberts. 2016. Time for change? The hard work of energy demand reduction. In DEMAND Centre Conference, 13–15 Apr 2016. Lancaster.Google Scholar
  10. Burlando, A. 2010. When the Lights Go Out: Permanent Health Effects of Transitory Shocks. Job Market Chapter. http://people.bu.edu/barlando.
  11. Carlsson-Kanyama, A., and A.L. Lindén. 2007. Energy efficiency in residences—Challenges for women and men in the North. Energy Policy 35 (4): 2163–2172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cooper, G. 1998. Air-Conditioning America: Engineers and the Controlled Environment, 1900–1960. John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Creti, A., and N. Fabra. 2004. Capacity Markets for Electricity. Center for the Study of Electricity Markets, CSEM WP 125, University of California Energy Institute.Google Scholar
  14. Darby, S.J. 2012. Metering: EU policy and implications for fuel poor households. Energy Policy 49: 98–106.Google Scholar
  15. Darby, S.J., and E. McKenna. 2012. Social implications of residential demand response in cool temperate climates. Energy Policy 49: 759–769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Denholm, P. 2015. The Role of Storage and Demand Response. Greening the Grid Series. USAID Office of Global Climate Change. NREL/FS-6A20-63041, Sept 2015.Google Scholar
  17. Deumling, R. Thinking outside the refrigerator: Shutting down power plants with NAECA? In Proceedings of the 2004 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.Google Scholar
  18. Deverell, E. 2009. Crises as learning triggers: Exploring a conceptual framework of crisis-induced learning. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 17 (3): 179–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Economist. 2015. Unplugged: Rolling power cuts are fraying tempers. The Economist.Google Scholar
  20. Faruqui, A., and J.H. Chamberlin. 1993. Principles and Practice of Demand-Side Management. TR-102556. Prepared for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).Google Scholar
  21. Hargreaves, T., M. Nye, and J. Burgess. 2013. Keeping energy visible? Exploring how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors in the longer term. Energy Policy 52 (1): 126–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hausman, W.J., and J.L. Neufeld. 1984. Time-of-day pricing in the US electric power industry at the turn of the century. The Rand Journal of Economics 15 (1): 116–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Higginson, S.L. 2014. The Rhythm of Life is a Powerful Beat: Demand Response Opportunities for Time-Shifting Domestic Electricity Practices. PhD dissertation, Loughborough University.Google Scholar
  24. [IEA]. International Energy Agency. 2005. Saving Electricity in a Hurry. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  25. Jasanoff, S., and S.H. Kim. 2013. Sociotechnical imaginaries and national energy policies. Science as Culture 22 (2): 189–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kaufmann, J.C. 1985. ‘S’en sortir’, ‘pas de probèmes’, ‘faire avec’: au coeur de la culture populaire. Anthropologie et Sociétés 9 (2): 195–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kavishe, T.E. 2015. Coping with Power Interruptions in Tanzania: An Industrial Perspective. A Case Study of One Small Scale Animal Food Processing Industry in Moshi Municipality. Masters Thesis, University of Oslo.Google Scholar
  28. Kimura, O., and K.I. Nishio. 2013. Saving electricity in a hurry: A Japanese experience after the great east Japan earthquake in 2011. In Proceedings of the 2013 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.Google Scholar
  29. King, C.S. 2001. The economics of real-time and time-of-use pricing for residential customers. Berkeley, California: American Energy Institute.Google Scholar
  30. Labanca, N., I. Maschio, and P. Bertoldi. 2015. Evolutions in energy conservation policies in the time of renewables. In Proceedings of the 2015 ECEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency. European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.Google Scholar
  31. Lovins, A.B., and L.H. Lovins. 2001. Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security. Amherst, MA: Rocky Mountain Institute. Black House Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  32. Lund, P.D., J. Lindgren, J. Mikkola, and J. Salpakari. 2015. Review of energy system flexibility measures to enable high levels of variable renewable electricity. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 45 (May): 785–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Luther, D. 2014. The big blackout: Why I’m going low-tech to prep for an EMP. Blog post. In The Organic Prepper, 30 July 2014.Google Scholar
  34. Lutzenhiser, L. 2014. Through the energy efficiency looking glass. Energy Research & Social Science 1 (1): 141–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lutzenhiser, L., M. Moezzi, and A. Ingle. 2016 (forthcoming). Advanced Residential Energy and Behavior Analysis. Prepared for the California Energy Commission.Google Scholar
  36. Marnay, C., and O.C. Bailey. 2004. The CERTS microgrid and the future of the macrogrid. In Proceedings of the 2004 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.Google Scholar
  37. Matthewman, S.D., and H. Byrd. 2014. Blackouts: A sociology of electric power failure. Social Space (socialspacejournal.eu).Google Scholar
  38. Michaelowa, A., H. Connor, and L.E. Williamson. 2010. Use of indicators to improve communication on energy systems vulnerability, resilience and adaptation to climate change. In Management of Weather and Climate Risk in the Energy Industry, 69–87. Springer Netherlands.Google Scholar
  39. Moezzi, M. 2015. Numbers, stories, energy efficiency. In Proceedings of the 2015 ECEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.Google Scholar
  40. [NAS]. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Analytic Research Foundations for the Next-Generation Electric Grid. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  41. [NERC]. North American Electric Reliability Council. 2004. Technical Analysis of the August 14, 2003 Northeast Blackout: What Happened, Why, and What Did We Learn? Report to the NERC Board of Trustees by the NERC Steering Group, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  42. Nkwetta, D.N., V.V. Thong, J. Driseen, and R. Belmans. 2007. Energy sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Electrical Power Quality and Utilisation. Barcelona.Google Scholar
  43. Nye, D.E. 1990. Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology 1880–1940. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  44. Nye, D.E. 2013. When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  45. Olexsak, S.J., and A.K. Meier. 2014. The electricity impacts of Earth Hour: An international comparative analysis of energy-saving behavior. Energy Research & Social Science 2: 159–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Onishi, N. 2015. Weak power grids in Africa stunt economies and fire up tempers. International New York Times.Google Scholar
  47. Paschen, J.A., and R. Ison. 2014. Narrative research in climate change adaptation—Exploring a complementary paradigm for research and governance. Research Policy 43 (6): 1083–1092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pasquier, S.B. 2011. Saving Electricity in a Hurry. 2011 Update. Paris: International Energy Agency.Google Scholar
  49. Peters, J., M. Moezzi, S. Lutzenhiser, J. Woods, L. Dethman, and R. Kunkle. 2009. PowerChoice Residential Customer Response to TOU Rates. Report to the California PIER Demand Response Research Center.Google Scholar
  50. Powells, G., H. Bulkeley, S. Bell, and E. Judson. 2014. Peak electricity demand and the flexibility of everyday life. Geoforum 55: 43–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Roscoe, A.J., and G. Ault. 2010. Supporting high penetrations of renewable generation via implementation of real-time electricity pricing and demand response. IET Renewable Power Generation 4 (4): 369–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rupp, S. 2016. Circuits and currents: Dynamics of disruption in New York City blackouts. Economic Anthropology 3 (1): 106–118.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schatzki, T. 2015. Spaces of practices and of large social phenomena. EspacesTemp.net. Travaux. Google Scholar
  54. Schelde, P. 1993. Androids, Humanoids, and Other Folklore Monsters: Science and Soul in Science Fiction Films. NYU Press.Google Scholar
  55. Schivelbusch, W. 1995. Disenchanted Night: The Industrialization of Light in the Nineteenth Century. University of California Press.Google Scholar
  56. Schlandt, J. 2015. Capacity Markets Around the World. Berlin: Clean Energy Wire Factsheet.Google Scholar
  57. Shaw, R. 2015. Night as fragmenting frontier: Understanding the night that remains in an era of 24/7. Geography Compass 9 (12): 637–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Shove, E. 2015. Infrastructures and practice: Networks beyond the city. In Beyond the Networked City: Infrastructure Reconfigurations and Urban Change in the North and South, ed. J. Rutherford, and O. Coutard. Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. Shove, E., M. Pantzar, and M. Waston. 2012. The Dynamics of Social Practice: Everyday Life and How It Changes. Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  60. Skjølsvold, T.M., M. Ryghaug, and T. Berker. 2015. A traveler’s guide to smart grids and the social sciences. Energy Research & Social Science 9: 1–8.Google Scholar
  61. Smith, D.C. 2003. Power cuts: Risks and alternatives to the current transmission system. Refocus 4 (6): 22: 24–25.Google Scholar
  62. Stephens, J.C., E.J. Wilson, T.R. Peterson, and J. Meadowcroft. 2013. Getting smart? Climate change and the electric grid. Challenges 4 (2): 201–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Strengers, Y. 2011. Peak electricity demand and social practice theories: Reframing the role of change agents in the energy sector. Energy Policy 44: 226–234.Google Scholar
  64. Strengers, Y. 2013. Smart Energy Technologies in Everyday Life: Smart Utopia? Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  65. Trentmann, F. 2009. Disruption is normal: Blackouts, breakdowns, and the elasticity of everyday life. In Time Consumption and Everyday Life: Practice, Materiality, and Culture, ed. E. Shove, F. Trentmann, and R. Wilk. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  66. Tricoire, A. 2015. Uncertainty, vision, and the vitality of the emerging smart grid. Energy Research & Social Science 9: 21–34.Google Scholar
  67. Trovalla, E., and U. Trovalla. 2015. Infrastructure as a divination tool: Whispers from the grids in a Nigerian city. City 19 (2–3): 332–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. [White House]. Executive Office of the President. 2013. Economic Benefits from Increasing Electric Grid Resilience to Weather Outages. Washington, DC: The White House.Google Scholar
  69. Williamson, L.E., H. Connor, and M. Moezzi. 2009. Climate-Proofing Energy Systems. HELIO International.Google Scholar
  70. World Energy Outlook. 2015. WEO 2015 Electricity Access Database. http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/resources/energydevelopment/energyaccessdatabase/.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations