Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
A Smarter Grid for Renewable Energy: Different States of Action
Previous Article in Journal
The Secretome of Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells Exposed to Fine Atmospheric Particles Induces Fibroblast Proliferation
Previous Article in Special Issue
Bridging the Fields of Solar Cell and Battery Research to Develop High-Performance Anodes for Photoelectrochemical Cells and Metal Ion Batteries

Getting Smart? Climate Change and the Electric Grid

Environmental Science and Policy, Clark University-IDCE, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, TAMU-2258, College Station, TX 77843, USA
School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2013, 4(2), 201-216;
Received: 7 July 2013 / Revised: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 23 August 2013 / Published: 5 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Alternative Energy)
Interest in the potential of smart grid to transform the way societies generate, distribute, and use electricity has increased dramatically over the past decade. A smarter grid could contribute to both climate change mitigation and adaptation by increasing low-carbon electricity production and enhancing system reliability and resilience. However, climate goals are not necessarily essential for smart grid. Climate change is only one of many considerations motivating innovation in electricity systems, and depending on the path of grid modernization, a future smart grid might do little to reduce, or could even exacerbate, risks associated with climate change. This paper identifies tensions within a shared smart grid vision and illustrates how competing societal priorities are influencing electricity system innovation. Co-existing but divergent priorities among key actors’ are mapped across two critical dimensions: centralized versus decentralized energy systems and radical versus incremental change. Understanding these tensions provides insights on how climate change objectives can be integrated to shape smart grid development. Electricity system change is context-specific and path-dependent, so specific strategies linking smart grid and climate change need to be developed at local, regional, and national levels. And while incremental improvements may bring short term gains, a radical transformation is needed to realize climate objectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: electricity; mitigation; adaptation; smart grid; grid modernization electricity; mitigation; adaptation; smart grid; grid modernization
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Stephens, J.C.; Wilson, E.J.; Peterson, T.R.; Meadowcroft, J. Getting Smart? Climate Change and the Electric Grid. Challenges 2013, 4, 201-216.

AMA Style

Stephens JC, Wilson EJ, Peterson TR, Meadowcroft J. Getting Smart? Climate Change and the Electric Grid. Challenges. 2013; 4(2):201-216.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stephens, Jennie C., Elizabeth J. Wilson, Tarla R. Peterson, and James Meadowcroft. 2013. "Getting Smart? Climate Change and the Electric Grid" Challenges 4, no. 2: 201-216.

Find Other Styles

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Back to TopTop