IEA ISGAN Annex 7: Smart Grid Transitions (Working period 2020-2023)

ISGAN Annex 7 aims to bundle international experience and interdisciplinary research activities on smart grids, to synthesize them and to make them usable for policy makers. These include social, economic and humanities research on institutional framework conditions of transition, in particular on governance issues, as well as the development of processes for the broad participation of relevant stakeholders in smart grids transition processes.

Short Description

Annex 7 deals with institutional and socio-technical issues in connection with the transition of the energy system, whereby smart grids are viewed as a key infrastructure.

The content of the annex deals with the question of the extent to which and under what framework conditions smart grids can contribute to a fundamental system transformation (energy transition). This system transformation is characterized by the transition to a decentrally organized electricity system based as far as possible on renewable energy sources. Research from current innovation research and political science are used as a theoretical framework.

Annex 7 activities focus on the following three tasks:

  • Task 1 – Transition processes and pathways (Smart Grids as socio-technical systems)
  • Task 2 – Smart Reflexive Governance (Transformative Innovation Policy)
  • Task 3 – Smart Grid Transitions and Institutionalizations (market formations and system users)

The project includes the coordination of Annex 7 as an operating agent (including network expansion and the establishment of possible further activities), dissemination activities and the lead of Task 2. The focus in Task 2 is on the analysis of innovation ecosystems and the support of policy makers in the development of new policy instruments such as regulatory experimenting for energy innovations as well as on the development of evaluation concepts for new policy instruments. The project also includes provision of expert inputs to the previously defined tasks, Task 1 (Transition Processes and Pathways), Task 2 (Smart Reflexive Governance) and Task 3 (Smart Grid Transitions and Institutionalizations - market formation and consumers).

The expected results of Annex 7 include policy briefs for policymakers, the energy industry and other stakeholder groups, as well as a series of stakeholder workshops and webinars for the international bundling of synergies and development of thematic contributions also in cooperation with other Annexes.


Austria (Operating Agent), Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom

Contact Address

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Dr. Klaus Kubeczko
Giefinggasse 4, 1210 Wien