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Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change

Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change

Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Joshua D. Sarnoff

This innovative research tool presents insights from a global group of leading intellectual property, environment, trade, and industrial scholars on the emerging and controversial topic of intellectual property and climate change. It provides a unique review of the scientific background, international treaties, and political context of climate change; identifies critical conflicts and differences of approach; and describes the relevant intellectual property law doctrines and policy options for regulating, developing, or disseminating needed technologies, activities, and business practices.

Chapter 22: Privacy issues in smart grid deployment

Jennifer M. Urban

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, intellectual property law


Along with other efforts to address climate change with green technologies and greater energy efficiency, a recent push to make the electricity grid ‘smart’ is bringing new information technologies into homes and businesses across the United States (US) and in the European Union (EU). The new technologies – in this chapter, I will focus on smart electricity meters and other devices that gather or process household energy signatures at high temporal resolutions – have a great deal of promise. Among other predicted benefits, smart grid technologies are expected to help us better manage energy usage, enable real-time demand-response pricing, improve efficient load balancing across the grid, and increase the capacity for solar and other edge-based energy generation. These predicted benefits depend, in part, on new, richer data models of energy flow and usage. As such, the detailed information collected by advanced metering technologies is of interest to governments, utilities, their customers, and companies developing new technologies and services intended to support efficient energy generation, transmission, distribution and use. Smarter energy technologies promise to provide substantial support to societal efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. At the same time, the temporally granular data collected by advanced metering technologies can reveal detailed information about intimate life within the home, raising serious questions about how to address privacy interests.

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