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Smart grid knowledges and the state

Lovell, H ORCID: 0000-0003-1164-0356 and Powells, G 2020 , 'Smart grid knowledges and the state' , Area , pp. 1-8 , doi:

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In this paper we call for a closer analysis of the role of the nation state in shapingthe geographies of knowledge created through public–private infrastructure collaborations, focusing on the empirical case of smart grids. We draw on contributionsfrom economic geographers and political scientists, identifying an empirical andanalytical blind spot around how states shape knowledge production and mobilityin regulated infrastructure economies. We argue that national state institutionshave strong influence through their initial framing of what is relevant knowledge,and the geography of its applicability. The type of knowledge valued by the stateinstitutions in our two case studies of public–private smart grid initiatives is thatwhich can be rescaled to apply to national energy systems, by being stripped ofits local context. In practice, however, many types of knowledge are producedthrough smart grid experiments, including tacit, context‐specific knowledge. Inthis short paper we demonstrate the need to be attentive to both corporate andpolicy theories about types of knowledge and their mobilities, in order to betterunderstand the geographies of smart grid and other regulated infrastructure knowledges.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lovell, H and Powells, G
Keywords: knowledge mobilities, nation state, policy mobilities, private, public, smart grid experiments
Journal or Publication Title: Area
Publisher: Inst British Geographers
ISSN: 0004-0894
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2020 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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