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

Patterson-Hann, V and Watson, P ORCID: 0000-0003-1569-0780 2021 , 'The precursors of acceptance for a prosumer-led transition to a future smart grid' , Technology Analysis and Strategic Management , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.1080/09537325.2021.1896698.

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Patterson-Hann, V and Watson, P
Keywords: trust, agency, technology acceptance model, residential smart battery systems, consumer acceptance, energy system transition
Journal or Publication Title: Technology Analysis and Strategic Management
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0953-7325
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/09537325.2021.1896698
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© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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