Triangular shades Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Flexibility: past, present, future

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January 2019 to June 2021

Project team

Elizabeth Shove

Stanley Blue

Peter J Forman

Carolynne Lord

This project looks at how flexibility has been managed in the past; how flexible the energy system is today and what future flexibilities could look like.

Flexibility: past, present, future

There are major uncertainties about how social and institutional rhythms might fit with decarbonised and renewable energy systems. This project develops methods of conceptualising and evaluating actual and potential flexibility in the supply of and the demand for energy (gas, electricity, transport) over time and at different scales. The research is in three parts. We collaborate with historians to learn from past experiences of handling flexibility; we develop ways of describing and mapping flexibility today; and we identify forms of flexibility that are anticipated by those involved in envisaging and developing future infrastructures and systems of provision.

What we are asking

  • How has flexibility been managed in the past?
  • How flexible is the energy system today?
  • How are future flexibilities envisioned and established?

Banner photo credit: Scott Webb on Unsplash