Journal Article

Towards social understanding of energy storage systems : a perspective


Renewable, decentralised, and citizen-centred energy paradigms have emerged as feasible and reliable alternatives to the traditional centralised fossil-based infrastructure. In this scenario, energy storage systems (ESSs) are enabling technologies to boost the stability and flexibility of the power grid in the short-to-medium term, allowing local communities to envision energy autonomy in the medium term. Traditionally, ESSs have been installed in individual households for their own benefit. However, new storage paradigms focusing on building clusters and district scale have illustrated the need to revise the role of ESSs and to pay close attention to the social factors, while devising implementation strategies for scaling up these new energy infrastructural models. This study reviews recent research trends (2021–2023), proposing three integrated social pillars for the implementation of ESSs: (i) multi-dimensional geographical and institutional scales of ESSs; (ii) social components of spatial and temporal flexibility of ESSs; and (iii) co-creation approaches to devising ESS implementation strategies. These pillars point out the necessary social factors for the implementation of ESSs at scale, highlighting future research perspectives to operationalise such factors, with a particular focus on the importance of citizens’ perception, participation, and collaboration, which are critical for maximising the benefit of sharing and exchanging renewable energy locally. Development of flexible and agile digital platforms that facilitate the co-creation of adaptable socio-technical solutions to adopting ESSs is proposed. The need to tailor these solutions to suit the stakeholders’ capabilities is emphasized.

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Sibilla, Maurizio
Kurul, Esra

Oxford Brookes departments

School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-10-19

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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