How Engineers Make Markets Organizing Electricity System Decarbonization

Rasmus Ploug Jenle, Trine Pallesen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Energy system decarbonization by means of wind power integration has recently been pursued through the introduction of a novel retail electricity market. The market, named EcoGrid, has been designed to facilitate short-term price-responsive electricity consumption. By following the market construction process undertaken by scientists at the Technical University of Denmark, this article shows how engineers have approached the task by designing markets as technical control systems. It is demonstrated that EcoGrid has been designed by modeling a retail electricity market on three different conceptions of control systems as found in the discipline of control systems engineering. By tracing the origins of EcoGrid, this article documents the governing of electricity consumers through what we here call a synthetic market, i.e. a market artifact devised to attain goals. These findings about expertise in electricity market design are then used as a springboard to discuss the implications of introducing markets as a means of governance
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevue Francaise de Sociologie
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)375-397
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Electricity
  • Engineering
  • Governance
  • Market design
  • Markets
  • Smart grid

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