In the past two decades supply chain management has moved towards greater decentralization and multidirectional flows characterized by greater volatility. The experience gained in this transformation has culminated in the concept of closedloop supply chains. Meanwhile, the electric power landscape is facing a similar development, resulting in new challenges for its centerpiece, the grid. This paper draws on the knowledge acquired by closed-loop supply chain theory and applies it to the electric power landscape via a case study research focusing on Germany. By way of doing so, this article expands the concept of closed-loop supply chains and pinpoints the development the electric power landscape is about to face. This will, in particular, help mapping what the future smart grid will have to withstand. Clear policy implications can be derived from the findings. It is shown that the current one-sided promotion of renewable energy sources needs to be complemented by grid fortifications.

closed-loop supply chains, distributed generation, prosumers, reverse logistics, smart grid, supply chain management,
Decision and Information Sciences

Richter, A, van der Laan, E.A, Ketter, W, & Valogianni, K. (2012). Transitioning from the traditional to the smart grid: Lessons learned from closed-loop supply chains. doi:10.1109/SG-TEP.2012.6642382