The Adoption of New Smart-Grid Technologies: Incentives, Outcomes, and Opportunities

The Adoption of New Smart-Grid Technologies: Incentives, Outcomes, and Opportunities / Christopher Guo, Craig Bond & Anu Narayanan. Rand Corporation, 2015, 78 p. (RR 717)

Abstract (© Rand) :

Studies in the academic and gray literatures have touted the potential large-scale benefits of a smart grid for the United States. Despite an overall lack of technological constraints, however, the empirical evidence shows a potential gap between ex ante expectations and ex post realizations of the benefits of modernization, as well as some reluctance on the part of utilities and consumers to adopt or use the technologies as expected. The surge in technological deployment during the early 2010s, in fact, was a result of federal funding via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In this report, RAND Corporation researchers review the current technical, regulatory, and economic context of the electricity market and theoretical benefits of developing a smart grid. They then discuss some of the entrepreneurial opportunities associated with smart-grid data once the grid is fully modernized. Next, they examine the existing empirical evidence related to smart-grid adoption and implementation and investigate the potential reasons for these experiences. Finally, they offer some policy suggestions that might help overcome the identified barriers and discuss their relative merits.

Contents :

  • Introduction
  • A Review of the Potential Benefits of the Smart Grid
  • Potential for Entrepreneurship with Smart-Grid Technologies: Opportunities and Challenges Leveraging Big Data
  • The Smart Grid in Practice: Some Empirical Evidence
  • Explaining the Evidence: Barriers to Smart-Grid Technology Adoption
  • Using Public Policy to Encourage Smart-Grid Technology Adoption
  • Conclusion

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