Small logo of ETH main building ETH Zurich : Computer Science : Pervasive Computing : Distributed Systems : Education : SmartEnergy HS2012

Smart Energy

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern
Dr. Thorsten Staake

Where and when:

Wednesday 13:15 – 15:00 (Link to course catalogue)


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.


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

Learning Material:

Lecture Date Slides Content
1 19.09.2012 Smart-Energy-12-01.pdf Energy and electricity: energy sources, energy usage, trends
2 26.09.2012 Smart-Energy-12-02.pdf Energy and electricity supply
3 03.10.2012 Smart-Energy-12-03.pdf Electricity distribution & load management in the conventional grid
4 10.10.2012 Smart-Energy-12-04.pdf Energy consumption of ICT
5 17.10.2012 Smart-Energy-12-05.pdf Smart grid, smart metering
6 24.10.2012 Smart-Energy-12-06.pdf Smart metering
7 31.10.2012 Smart-Energy-12-07.pdf Non-intrusive load monitoring
8 07.11.2012 Smart-Energy-12-08.pdf ICT for behavioral change
9 14.11.2012 Smart-Energy-12-09.pdf ICT for behavioral change (part 2)
10 21.11.2012 Smart-Energy-12-10.pdf Smart heating, grid security
11 28.11.2012 Smart-Energy-12-11.pdf Grid security, acceptance issues, rebound effect
12 05.12.2012 Smart-Energy-12-12.pdf Side effects
13 12.12.2012 Smart-Energy-12-13.pdf ICT and the electricity market
14 19.12.2012 Smart-Energy-12-14.pdf Electric vehicles, lecture summary


If you have questions regarding the lecture, please contact Christian Beckel.
ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated June 20 2023 01:44:59 PM MET cb