This project (Energy decisions in time) focuses on decision-making related to the time variation of energy conversion and use: in particular, decisions required to balance a UK electricity system with increased intermittent power generation, new demands (e.g. electric vehicles and heat pumps) and use of ICTs. Models of electricity sector decision-making are typically based on an assumption of rational-economic, which can be a reasonable approximation for large firms, but problematic for smaller actors in demand side response, distributed generation and storage.

A range of distributed decisions, such as those in small scale generation, investment, storage and demand response may be important in electricity system balancing – many of these decisions on relatively short timescales. Residential and small business electricity users intending to contribute DSR have to develop the capacity to make decisions on very short timescales and/or cede control of those decisions to other actors, such as aggregators.

The nature and scale of response will vary with energy service expectations, available technologies and activities, and will raise issues of risk, trust and accountability. We draw on empirical research, such as that from other projects in this programme and SuperGen HIDEF (Darby and McKenna 2012), to identify necessary actors and technologies, and to understand how these interact. .