Diagnosis of the implementation of smart grid innovation in The Netherlands and corrective actions

F. Norouzi*, T. Hoppe, L.M. Kamp, C. Manktelow, P. Bauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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With its potentially disruptive nature, the smart grid can be viewed from both a transformational and an innovation systems perspective. Synthesising these, a research approach is adopted in which a Technological Innovation System (TIS) analysis is combined with a transformational perspective to identify a broader range of success and failure factors. This study analyses smart grid innovation system development. The main research question is: What systemic and transformational failures are identified in the development of smart grid innovation in the Netherlands from 2001 to 2021 by combining TIS and a transformational perspective? The question is answered by mapping the events to TIS functions and identifying both ‘systemic failures’ and ‘transformational failures’. Transformational failures are linked to events outside the smart grid TIS that work against the alignment and harmonising of activities within the TIS. Results show that the smart grid innovation system experienced three periods and that it suffers from various structural and transformational failures. TIS functions like knowledge diffusion, and the creation of legitimacy were only fulfilled to a limited extent. Consequently, smart grid innovation is currently still not considered a mainstream technology in the energy transition, and there is little attention to the role of end-users. The study ends with suggestions for future research, including the suitability of the research approach for other contexts and when applied to other energy system innovations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113185
Number of pages20
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Smart grid
  • Systemic failures
  • System functions
  • Technological Innovation System
  • The Netherlands
  • Transformational failures


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