Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A qualitative meta-analysis of the diffusion of mandated and subsidized technology: United States energy security and independence
by Noah, Philip D. Jr., D.Sc., Robert Morris University, 2013, 208; 3599889
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this research project was to explore what the core factors are that play a role in the development of the smart-grid. This research study examined The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 as it pertains to the smart-grid, the economic and security effects of the smart grid, and key factors for its success. The methodology used for this research study is based on a qualitative meta-analysis, multiple case analysis, and text analysis. Secondary data in the form of journal articles were used as the data for this study. Five to six articles on the smart grid, nuclear power, and cellular communication were synthesized to produce a smart gird case, a nuclear case, and a cellular communication case. An interruptive analysis and text analysis was used to create the synthesis. The three cases were analyzed using a multiple case study approach combined with a text analysis to produce a list of possible key factors for the smart grid. This research project found that the core issues (factors) for the smart grid can be categorized into the following five categories; economic, public policy, technology, regulatory, and safety/security. Key terms in each of the core issues were identified and used to answer the research question. The conclusions reached are that consumers will need to use assistive technologies to manage electrical use and to take advantage of dynamic pricing. Furthermore, the Federal Government will have to ensure that open standards are used for the smart grid, and that devices and protocols at all levels of the grid are secured against cyber-attack. Finally, the Federal Government needs to take a more free market approach to smart grid, especially concerning renewable resources. The market should dictate what mix of power generation is used to create an economically viable electric system. Natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, and geothermal all should compete on a level playing field. With an estimated cost of over $2 trillion and 20 years to implement, there will be only one change to get it right. Limitations of the study include the use of only two comparative domains with the one domain under investigation, the use of a third domain would help to refine and better validate the findings of the study. The exploratory and interpretive nature of the research along with the use of a developing methodology required the researcher to use judgment about how to best analyze the data in a systematic way. The results of this research study not only contributes to the body of academic knowledge but is also a guide for policy makers and consumers who must wrestle with the effects the smart grid will have on the economy, national security, and daily life.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kohun, Frederick G.
Commitee: Leone, G. James, Wood, David F.
School: Robert Morris University
Department: Information Systems and Communications
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-B 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, Economic theory, Public policy
Keywords: Applied history, Energy independence, Energy policy, Energy security, Nuclear power, Smart grid
Publication Number: 3599889
ISBN: 9781303496837
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