FAR out? An examination of converging, diverging and intersecting smart grid futures in the United Kingdom

Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan, Tom Watson, Peter M. Connor, Colin J. Axon, Lorraine Whitmarsh, Alexa Spence, Philip E. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We describe a novel application of the field anomaly relaxation (FAR) method of scenario construction to the complex problem of smart grid development. We augment the FAR methodology with extensive expert input through all four steps to incorporate detailed knowledge of the technical, economic and policy issues relevant to informing scenarios for smart grid development in the United Kingdom. These steps inform scenarios useful to policymakers, regulators and the energy industry. We found this extended method to be flexible and reliable. Analysis of smart grid development yielded seven dimensions, allowing for portrayal of a complex and informed set of scenarios. The expert input and feedback identified branching points allowing switching between scenarios – a powerful dynamic feature to assist policy development for a fast-changing technological and regulatory landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101675
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Early online date7 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jul 2020


  • Energy scenario
  • FAR method
  • Field anomaly relaxation
  • Participatory scenario
  • Scenario development
  • Smart grid scenario

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this