Small logo of ETH main building ETH Zurich : Computer Science : Pervasive Computing : Distributed Systems : Education : SmartEnergy HS2015

Smart Energy

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern
Dr. Verena Tiefenbeck

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.


Learning Material:

Lecture Date Slides Content
1 16.09.2015 Smart-Energy-15-01.pdf Introduction: Energy and electricity, energy usage
2 23.09.2015 Smart-Energy-15-02.pdf Electricity: Production, transport, distribution
3 30.09.2015 Smart-Energy-15-03.pdf Smart grid, smart metering, energy consumers
4 07.10.2015 Smart-Energy-15-04.pdf
Paper for Reading Assignment 04
Demand response
5 14.10.2015 Smart-Energy-15-05.pdf World energy demand, energy cost
6 21.10.2015 Smart-Energy-15-06.pdf Electricity generation: Cost factors
Electrical energy storage
7 28.10.2015 Smart-Energy-15-07.pdf Energy use of ICT
8 04.11.2015 Smart-Energy-15-08.pdf
Paper for Reading Assignment 08
Smart metering: Feedback meta-study and current state in Europe
9 11.11.2015 Smart-Energy-15-09.pdf
Paper for Reading Assignment 09
ICT for behavior change
10 18.11.2015 Smart-Energy-15-10.pdf Non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM)
11 25.11.2015 Smart-Energy-15-11.pdf
Smart grid security, security of critical infrastructures
12 02.12.2015 Smart-Energy-15-12.pdf Smart heating
13 09.12.2015 Smart-Energy-15-13.pdf Smart heating (part 2), rebound effects
14 16.12.2015 Smart-Energy-15-14.pdf Electric vehicles: Current developments and impact on the grid


If you have questions regarding the lecture, please contact Leyna Sadamori.
ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated June 20 2023 01:44:53 PM MET cb