EnviroThursday - "Regional Differences in Smart Grid Context: Technology and Policy Across Regional Transmission Organizations and States"

12:00 PM  - 1:00 PM
Thursday Nov 15, 2012
Olin-Rice Science Center 250

Speaker:  Dr. Elizabeth Wilson, Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy and Law, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Despite the high level of interest and investment in Smart Grid in the United States and elsewhere, research on the social dimensions of Smart Grid development has been minimal. This research compares the socio-political context of Smart Grid development in three regions of the US by conducting qualitative thematic analysis of policy documents developed by and for Regional Transmission Organizations and member states about Smart Grid. These policy documents are analyzed for motivations for supporting Smart Grid, what technological components of Smart Grid are mentioned, and what frames (economic, political, cultural, technical, health/safety, cultural/aesthetic) representing the social context are used to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Smart Grid. The results demonstrate regional similarities in focus but differences among the regions and across states in context and implementation of Smart Grid development.

Dr. Wilson's research examines policies and institutions supporting development of carbon-managed energy systems. She holds a doctorate in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and was selected as a Leopold Leadership Fellow in 2011.

Contact: Ann Esson,

Sponsored By: Environmental Studies

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