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The precursors of acceptance for a prosumer-led transition to a future smart grid


Patterson-Hann, V and Watson, P, The precursors of acceptance for a prosumer-led transition to a future smart grid, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management pp. 1-15. ISSN 0953-7325 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/09537325.2021.1896698


Centralised electricity grids around the world are transitioning towards greater renewable distributed storage, and pivotal to transition is the relationship between prosumers and utilities. Evidence of this changing relationship is observed through a three-year (2016–2019) Australian smart grid pilot. This study investigates the precursors of technology acceptance of smart batteries, because a lack of acceptance presents risks to implementation. We draw on: scholarly literature, government documents, interviews and observations of the pilot implementation for a qualitative, exploratory, longitudinal and thematic analysis. We outline four findings: Firstly, we suggest a reframing of the influence of agency in IoT-systems: The concept of ‘behaviour’ might be conditionally substituted for ‘agency’ in the case of smart grids. Secondly, we reconfirm prosumers require different agency-focused engagement than is currently offered if private investment in batteries is to be encouraged. Thirdly, prosumers do not always desire increased agency – there is a trade-off between agency and trust under the duress of high system complexity. Finally, we extend a variation of the technology acceptance model (known as RITAM) to include Perceived Trust, Agency and Complexity in relation to smart grids, and note these acceptance precursors pose both a risk and an enhancer to smart grid implementation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:trust, agency, technology acceptance model, residential smart battery systems, consumer acceptance, energy system transition
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology and social studies of science and technology
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Energy storage, distribution and supply
Objective Field:Energy services and utilities
UTAS Author:Patterson-Hann, V (Ms Veryan Hann)
UTAS Author:Watson, P (Dr Phillipa Watson)
ID Code:146751
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-09-24
Last Modified:2021-10-20

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