Small logo of ETH main building ETH Zurich : Computer Science : Pervasive Computing : Distributed Systems : Education : ICTEnergy HS2011

Smart ICT for Sustainable Energy Usage

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern
Dr. Thorsten Staake

Where and when:

Wednesday 13:15 – 15:00


The lecture covers the role of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) for sustainable energy usage. It outlines concepts of the emerging smart grid as well as approaches to motivate sustainable consumer choices. For that it combines technologies from ubiquitous computing and traditional ICT with insights from socio-psychological research and illustrates these concepts with examples from actual applications.

Specific topics include:

  • Background on energy generation and consumption; characteristics, potential, and limitations of renewable energy sources.
  • Introduction to energy economics.
  • Smart grid and smart metering infrastructures, virtual power plants, security challenges.
  • Demand management and home automation using ubiquitous computing technologies.
  • Changing consumer behavior with smart ICT.
  • Benefits and challenges of a smart energy system.


Participants become familiar with the challenges related to sustainable energy usage, understand the principles of a smart grid infrastructure and its applications, know the role of ubiquitous computing technologies, can explain the challenges regarding security and privacy, can reflect the basics cues to induce changes in consumer behavior, develop a general understanding of the effects of a smart grid infrastructure on energy efficiency, and know how to apply the learning to related design projects.


The lecture will also include interactive exercises, case studies and practical examples.

Exam preparation:

On Wednesday, 8.2.2012, 13:15 – 15:00 there will be a Q&A session in CAB G 52 to discuss questions that arise during exam preparation.


A reading list will be provided during the course. Good starting points are:

Learning Material:

All commented slides are now online. Good luck for the exam!

Lecture Date Slides Content
1 21.09.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-01x.pdf Current and future energy demand
Update (30.01.2012): slides with comments
2 28.09.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-02x.pdf Energy and electricity supply from renewable and non-renewable sources
Update (20.12.2011): slides with comments
3 05.10.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-03x.pdf Electricity distribution and traditional energy markets
Update (20.12.2011): slides with comments
4 12.10.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-04x.pdf Smart grid infrastructure
Update (30.01.2012): slides with comments
5 19.10.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-05x.pdf Energy economics #1
Update (09.01.2012): slides with comments
6 26.10.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-06x.pdf Smart grid and smart metering technology
Update (28.11.2011): slides with comments
7 02.11.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-07x.pdf Smart metering and non-intrusive load monitoring
Update (06.12.2011): slides with comments
8 09.11.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-08x.pdf Energy economics #2
Update (09.01.2012): slides with comments
9 16.11.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-09x.pdf Behavioral aspects of sustainable ICT
Update (09.01.2012): slides with comments
10 23.11.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-10x.pdf A real world example: Amphiro’s energy-autonomous smart water meters
Update (09.01.2012): slides with comments
11 30.11.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-11x.pdf Non-intrusive load monitoring and a smart heating system
Update (20.12.2011): slides with comments
12 07.12.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-12x.pdf Security, acceptance, Internet energy, rebound effects
Update (01.01.2012): slides with comments
13-1 14.12.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-13-1x.pdf Rebound and similar effects, summary of the lecture
Update (01.01.2012): slides with comments
13-2 14.12.2011 Smart-ICT-Energy-13-2.pdf Revisiting selected topics
Update (09.01.2012): minor corrections

ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated June 20 2023 01:44:51 PM MET cb