Renewable energy intermittency challenges the stability of the electricity grid at a time when more aspects of daily life - mobility, cooking - are becoming electrified. 'Smart grids’ are heralded as a comprehensive solution, giving both utility providers and householders tools to manage a greener, affordable, and reliable energy grid. Yet, there are many uncertainties surrounding the role of end-users in smart grids. What new energy practices will emerge in smart grids? How will this change the daily lives of householders? And how might these developments transform power relations between providers, intermediaries, and householders?
The central aim of this research is to follow, analyse and assess the development of (new) energy practices as they emerge in smart grids, as to reduce uncertainty about consumer appreciation and uptake of smart energy system configurations. Two PhD researchers investigate a selected number of energy practices in smart grids, including renewable energy production, monitoring, timing of use, and electricity storage. In stakeholder platforms, this knowledge will be assessed by practitioners, system actors, and organizations that are related to the project. This will provide a basis for (re)designing sustainable and socially robust smart grid configurations for the near future.
The project is funded by NWO as part of the research program Uncertainty Reduction in Smart Energy Systems (URSES) and includes collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology. Other parties involved in the research are Enexis, Milieucentraal and Lancaster University’s DEMAND Centre.
More information can be found here.