Exploring energy grid resilience: The impact of data, prosumer awareness, and action


The transition of energy grids toward future smart grids is challenging in every way: politically, economically, legally, and technically. While many aspects progress at a velocity unthinkable a generation ago, one aspect remained mostly dormant: human electricity consumers. The involvement of consumers thus far can be sum- marized by two questions: ‘‘Should I buy the eco-friendly appliance? Will solar pay off for me?’’ However, so- cial and psychological aspects of consumers can profoundly contribute to resilient smart grids. This vision paper explores the role of active consumer-producers (prosumers) in the resilient operation of smart energy grids. We investigate how data can empower people to become more involved in energy grid operations, the potential of heightened awareness, mechanisms for incentives, and other tools for enhancing prosumer ac- tions toward resilience. We further explore the potential benefits to people and system when people are active, aware participants in the goals and operation of the system.