Technological momentum is a theory proposed by historian Thomas P. Hughes which postulates a relationship between technology and society over time. In Hughes’ model, technological momentum refers to the fact that once a technological system is in place, it gains momentum that helps it accelerate in both its complexity and its capabilities.
Technological momentum can be seen as the increase in the rate of technological development due to continuous improvement in technology. This momentum can be seen in the rapid advances in all areas of technology, from the internet and computers to artificial intelligence and robotics. In many ways, technological momentum is reflected in the increasing speed and efficiency with which technology is created and deployed.
In the world of electricity networks, the concept of technological momentum suggests that the development of a power system and its parts become more and more embedded into the system, leading to increased efficiency. This type of momentum can be seen in many cases such as the development of transmission infrastructure, the rise of distributed generation, and the evolution of smart grids.
In general, technological momentum is a useful concept for understanding how technological systems evolve and develop over time. As technological advances become more accessible and increasingly powerful, the momentum behind them becomes larger and more complex, creating an environment of technological disruption.