Historicising Flexibility


Creating supply, creating demand: Gas and electricity in Montréal from the First World War to the Great Depression

PhD candidate, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Centre Urbanisation Culture Société (Québec) & Sorbonne Université, UMR Sirice (Paris)
Twitter : @clarence_hp

Reducing energy use is a key imperative for Western societies. However, it is hard to envision how this might come about and what changes are entailed. This article proposes that studying energy history helps understand flexibility in energy systems. It uses the case of…

Demanding demand: Political configurations of energy flexibility in Berlin, 1920-2020

Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems (IRI THESys), Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.


Department of Geography, Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET), University of Bergen, Norway / Department of Media and Social Sciences, University of Stavanger, Norway.
Twitter: @sidsareen

Berlin’s modern history provides an instructive window on the evolution of energy flexibility in an urban context. Since being enlarged to its current territory in 1920, it has encountered a huge variety of political regimes and disruptive socio-economic events that have substantially impacted…

Histories of balancing demand and supply in the UK’s gas networks, 1795 – present

University of Northumbria (UK)

This paper provides an account of how past changes in energy demand have affected the balancing of the UK’s gas systems between the introduction of gaslight in 1795 and the present day. Four periods are examined in which the principal uses of gas have broadly differed: periods in which the…

Polyflexibility in public lighting

Newcastle University
Twitter: @WhatIsRobShaw

This article introduces the concept of ‘Polyflexibility’ as a way of expressing the complexity of interacting forms of flexibility. The term, deriving from Henri Lefebvre’s concept of polyrhythmia, is used in contrast to conceptualizations of flexibility in energy studies which rest primarily on…

The history of heat-as-a-service for promoting domestic demand-side flexibility: Lessons from the case of Budget Warmth

UCL Energy Institute
Twitter: @mikefsway

Heat-as-a-Service (HaaS) involves the provision of agreed room temperatures at certain times for a fixed fee, instead of charging for energy use on a per-unit basis. This arrangement enables the operator to remotely manage the heating system to use electricity when it is cheaper, thereby…