• Study location Dalarna University, Borlänge/digital
  • 2020-06-08 09:15–11:15

The public defence of Martin Warneryd's Licentiate thesis in Energy and Environmental Engineering

The public defence of Martin Warneryd's Licentiate thesis ”The social power grid – the role of institutions for decentralizing the electricity grid” will take place at Dalarna University on June 8, 2020, at 9.15 AM.

Title: “The social power grid – the role of institutions for decentralizing the electricity grid”.

Serial number: 292.

The examining committee consists of Associate professor Cajsa Bartusch, Uppsala University and Doctor Frank Fiedler, Dalarna Univerity. Tomas Kåberger, Affiliated professor at Environmental Systems Analysis, Chalmers University of Technology, has been appointed the faculty examiner.

Reserve is Associate professor Rana Mostaghel, Mälardalen University.



If you wish to participate as a member of the audience at the public defence, please register with Annette Lenne at ale@du.se no later than 4 June 2020.

Please state whether you wish to participate in room 322 at Dalarna University in Borlänge or via a link. Please also state the given and family name that you wish to use if you participate via a link.



The world’s existing electricity networks face several challenges to continue to provide a stable supply in the future. Aging electricity grids and the massive implementation of renewable sources require a different flexibility and robustness of the future grids. Large amounts of these renewable sources are implemented locally and in small scale, increasing pressure on distribution grids to manage variable generation and bi-directional power flows. A decentralized electricity system includes both new technological designs, as well as social re-organizations where prosumers become more prominent in the development and responsibilities of the electricity system. The existing centralized electricity system is fundamentally different from the decentralized, and the transformation require an institutional framework that support the logics of decentralized technologies and organizations. Some technologies that are relevant for a decentralized electricity system include solar PV and microgrids. The aim of the thesis is to investigate how the transformation toward a decentralized electricity system affects, and is affected by informal institutions among relevant actors, specifically prosumers, and formal institutions related to the existing electricity system. To guide the aim this research is using a conceptual framework stemming from the theoretical field of sustainability transitions with a special emphasis on institutions. The results show that a wide variety of experienced values enhances the positive experiences with the solar PV technology and provide for that prosumers increase their engagement and responsibilities in their own electricity system. Moreover, the values are used to enhance the positive narrative of the niche and thereby increasing the attractiveness for external actors. In the formative developing field of community microgrids, institutions play an important role. Informal institutions shape the formal institutional development, but also influence the informal institutions back, by enhancing opportunities for certain groups, such as the energy democracy movement, to reach out with their message. Thus, it is concluded that informal institutions play a significant role in the development of a decentralized electricity system, affecting several niche development parameters and influence the initial trajectories to further develop. Moreover, it is concluded that institutional developments are crucial for the development of community microgrids and that informal institutional developments from communities are shaping the formal institutional developments in the sector.