Given the strength of scenarios for organising economic, technological, competitive, political and societal information and translating it into a framework for decision-making, they are well suited for analysing and informing SG development. Existing scenarios highlight social, economic, policy and technological drivers of change within energy and related sectors.

However, little work to-date has examined the roles and priorities of different actors, spatial variation (eg, urban/rural, existing energy infrastructure) or behavioural issues. A significant innovation of this project will be to incorporate these important dimensions into specific SG scenarios, and to include stakeholders’ assessments of the uncertainties and key indicators associated with SG development.

The project will use the following methods to develop and evaluate a set of UK smart-grid scenarios:

1)      Policy Delphi – an iterative stakeholder/expert elicitation procedure to expose areas of agreement and disagreement about how smart grids will and should develop and what indicators should be used to assess this development;

2)      Morphological Analysis/ Field Anomaly Relaxation (MA/FAR) – this scenario-development method allows various factors (eg, economic growth) and alternative states (eg, high vs low) to be combined in a systematic multi-step process;

3)      Expert and deliberative public workshops – by consulting with a range of expert and public groups, we will further elucidate responses to smart grids and refine and evaluate our initial scenarios;

4)      Modelling and GIS mapping – using robust quantitative tools, we will visualise and assess the development and impacts of smart grids across the UK.