IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Relying on storage or ICT? How to maintain low voltage grids' stability with an increasing feed-in of fluctuating renewable energy sources


  • Römer, Benedikt
  • Reichhart, Philipp
  • Kranz, Johann
  • Picot, Arnold


Since the beginning of the new century our electricity system is changing rapidly. Distributed energy resources, such as wind or solar energies are becoming more and more important. These energies are producing fluctuating electricity, which is fed into low voltage distribution grids. The resulting volatility complicates the exact balancing of demand and supply. These changes can lead to distribution grid instabilities, damages of electronic devices or even power outages and might therefore end in deadweight losses affecting all electricity users. A concept to tackle this challenge is matching demand with supply in real-time, which is known as smart grids. In this study, we focus on two smart grids' key components: decentralized electricity storages and smart meters. The aim of this study is to provide new insights concerning the low diffusion of smart meters and decentralized electricity storages and to examine whether we are facing situations of positive externalities. During our study we conducted eight in-depth expert interviews. Our findings show that the diffusion of smart meters as well as decentralized electricity storages is widely seen as beneficial to society. This study identifies the most important stakeholders and various related private costs and benefits. As private benefits are numerous but widely distributed among distinct players, we argue that we face situations of positive externalities and thus societal desirable actions are omitted. We identify and discuss measures to foster diffusion of the two studied smart grid key components. Surprisingly, we find that direct interventions like subsidies are mostly not seen as appropriate even by experts from industries that would directly benefit from them. As the most important point, we identified well-designed and clearly defined regulatory and legal frameworks that are free of contradictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Römer, Benedikt & Reichhart, Philipp & Kranz, Johann & Picot, Arnold, 2011. "Relying on storage or ICT? How to maintain low voltage grids' stability with an increasing feed-in of fluctuating renewable energy sources," 22nd European Regional ITS Conference, Budapest 2011: Innovative ICT Applications - Emerging Regulatory, Economic and Policy Issues 52198, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse11:52198

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael L. Katz, 2004. "Sender or Receiver: Who Should Pay to Exchange an Electronic Message?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(3), pages 423-447, Autumn.
    2. Hsing Kenneth Cheng & Subhajyoti Bandyopadhyay & Hong Guo, 2011. "The Debate on Net Neutrality: A Policy Perspective," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 60-82, March.
    3. Jan Kraemer & Lukas Wiewiorra, 2010. "Network Neutrality and Congestion Sensitive Content Providers: Implications for Service Innovation, Broadband Investment and Regulation," Working Papers 10-09, NET Institute, revised Sep 2010.
    4. Economides, Nicholas & Tåg, Joacim, 2012. "Network neutrality on the Internet: A two-sided market analysis," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 91-104.
    5. Nicholas Economides & Benjamin E. Hermalin, 2012. "The economics of network neutrality," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(4), pages 602-629, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    smart meter; decentralized electricity storage; smart grid; externality;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:itse11:52198. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.