Rapidly falling costs of small-scale power generation, energy storage and information technology may induce a transition in the electricity system. In one future scenario, "smart grids" are central, that balance production and consumption. In a radically different scenario the importance of the grid is reduced and local storage creates a breeding ground for "grid defection". Currently, experiments are made that may lead in both these directions.
The goal of this project is to identify possible and probable development paths for the electricity system with a focus on Sweden and Europe; critical factors that influence the direction; and factors different actors can influence and when adaption is required. In three PhD projects, we will follow the emergence of new system configurations globally, study effects of the Swedish pilot projects on smart grids, and, using energy systems models, explore potential technical, economic and environmental impacts of different development paths.