Task Duration & Participation:
Phase 1: October 2019 to October 2021
Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland
Phase 2: November 2022 to November 2024
Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland
Latest From Social License to Automate 2.0
Recent research from our Social License to Automate and Hard-to-Reach Energy Users Tasks have been published online under the Energy Research & Social Science section of ScienceDirect.
Our latest Policy Brief is an overview for policy makers highlighting key observations and findings from stage one of the Task which concluded in October 2021 with the publication of their final report “Social License to Automate” Emerging Approaches to Demand Side Management”.
The follow-up Task “Social License to Automate 2.0” aims at developing a more in-depth and expanded understanding of how the granting of a social license to automate can be supported in a more inclusive and community-oriented manner.
Social License to Automate 2.0 Publications
Social license to automate batteries? Australian householder conditions for participation in Virtual Power Plants
This paper has been published in ERSS and is co-authored by Mike B. Roberts, Sophie M. Adams and Declan Kuch.
The Social License to Automate Task has investigated the social dimensions of user engagement with automated technologies in energy systems to understand how householder trust to automate is built and maintained in different jurisdictions and settings.
Subtasks & Deliverables
Who would you trust to control your air conditioner, battery or washing machine? This question is becoming increasingly important as grid operators and aggregation firms trial automation projects to participate in markets, stabilise electricity delivering during peak periods and build flexibility in power grids increasingly characterised by distributed sites of generation, storage and consumption. Automation technologies facilitate load shifting and shaving in peak demand periods through direct load control and pre-programming of appliances in the home. Their automated character ultimately requires trust in organisations.
As policy and market drivers of decarbonisation accelerate the uptake of distributed energy resources, the need for rapid electricity system responsiveness to the variability of wind and solar supply and variable demand increases. Leveraging the full capacity of this growing, but highly distributed resource requires real-time automated access to the energy sources situated within residential and small-scale commercial systems. Without automation, demand side management is unlikely to provide the electricity system with the fast-acting response needed to manage changing network and system requirements.
The Task seeks to understand the dynamics of trust and related social dimensions which determine user engagement with automation technologies in demand side management.
By building and sharing knowledge through case study analysis and expert collaboration across the participating countries, the Task constitutes a platform for reflective, cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and stakeholder engagement on how trust is built and maintained between different energy users and suppliers.
The Task will identify what is required to build and maintain the ‘social licence’ – which includes user understanding, acceptance and trust – essential to the success of automation technologies for demand side management.