Ethical, Legal and Social Implication of Smart Grid Technologies
The gradual yet monumental undertaking of replacing the inefficient and aging existing power grid and power consuming technologies within the U.S. with hyper efficient advanced Information Communications based Technologies (ICT) and the integration of alternative and distributed energy sources will touch every aspect of every portion of all sectors of society including: private, public, NGOs, military and government agencies. New functional standards are starting to emerge to enable the building of these technologies yet these standards have yet to start to look at the non-functional and integrative requirements of design predicated on potential issues involving topics such as privacy, access, monitoring, security, equity, governance, and environment concerns on either local, regional, national or international levels. Nor have we started to look at the methodologies or appropriateness of implementation or deployment. These new standards and methodologies of implementation will be the driving force behind technical design, implantation planning, public policy and law as well as the social and cultural dimensioning of the consumers of energy since they will affect the simplest manufactured electrical devices and the most casual of users to the most complex technical infrastructures; including military and governmental. The magnitude of this effort and the interconnectivity of its scope require that professionals in all aspects of society (Education, Business and Government) understand the socio-economic, socio-technology, socio-political and socio-cultural interfaces at all stages of development and deployment to make sure the appropriate ethical, legal and policy decisions that will produce appropriate new governance frameworks (public and private) are in place to protect society’s interests.