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New article: Exploring Limited Capacity in the Grid: Actors, Problems, and Solutions.

Eletricity cables with sunset and clouds in the background. Photo.

An extensive and reliable electricity grid is essential for all sectors of society. In parts of Sweden, the electricity grid has been suffering from a lack of capacity. This is something affecting all sectors and all people in these regions. The capacity problems have however so far mainly been analyzed in a technical system perspective, focusing on incumbent actors, whereas other actors have been less researched. The article takes an explorative approach to the subject by analyzing problems and solutions raised in four arenas: the regulative, media, technocratic, and user.

The article concludes that there are quite a few professionals’ views dominating the discussions in all arenas, which contributes to convergence of perspectives and narrowing options discussed. In regulations, there is still a focus on investment in transformers and lines rather than demand-side solutions and user flexibility. The main policy recommendations are:

  • start incentivizing investments in ICT facilitating user flexibility.
  • make one or several actors responsible and accountable for supporting demand-side and user flexibility. 
  • include a multitude of actors, interests, and perspectives when developing the future grid, to open up for new ideas and solutions. 

Read the article in Frontiers in Energy Research (new window)