A hat-trick of research funding

Cajsa Bartusch, researcher and associate professor at the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering and research leader of USER – Uppsala Smart Energy Research group, has by the Swedish Energy Agency been granted funding for 3 different collaboration projects in the area demand response, i. e. a voluntary change in demand of electricity from the grid for shorter or longer periods as a result of some kind of incentive.

The interdisciplinary research group USER combines applied and theoretical, as well as qualitative and quantitative, approaches and engages in extensive collaboration with the industry and other universities.

In light of the recognition that a smart grid will never be smarter than its users, the overall aim of USER is to increase general knowledge on electricity consumers’ and prosumers’ role in bringing to fruition the vision of future smart grids. The research focuses mainly on user behavior and sociotechnical aspects of flexible demand, but also decentralized generation, storage and electric vehicles as well as products and services associated therewith.

 


 

1) Dansmästaren (the dance master) – Are electric car owners dancing to the tunes of the local power grid

The project aims to increase knowledge of electricity consumers’ view on their role in future sustainable energy systems, and in doing so focuses on their drivers and barriers to contributing in the maintaining of balance between power supply and demand in local electricity grids, as well as whether these vary with socioeconomic factors. The study’s empirical point of departure is the mobility house Dansmästaren, which is expected to be part of the solution in solving the capacity shortage in Uppsala. The technical flexibility potential of the building includes a PV plant, a battery and one hundred electric car charging stations with V2G technology. Using an interdisciplinary approach combining qualitative and quantitative methods, the goal of the project is to assess the socioeconomic potential of electric car owners acting as flexibility resources in local electricity grids and to develop a pricing model and a mobile application promoting demand response in electric car charging.

Project period: 1 January 2021 – 30 September 2022

Funding: 2,498,050 SEK

Partners: STUNS, RISE and Uppsala Parkerings AB

 

2) User centered design of digital services for increased demand response

The project’s overall aim is to promote demand response among households by developing and testing two different design concepts to that end: real-time feedback that meets the needs of customers with power-based price models and prosumers with photovoltaics. The study is empirical and conducted as part of a collaboration project in Älvsjö, which includes academia, industry and the public sector. Using methods for user-centered design, all target groups of the project are involved in the development of the design concepts, which are thus rooted in their everyday lives. As part of this process, the goal is to increase knowledge on how climate-related, goal-based, normative as well as appliance- and activity specific feedback can be designed to increase awareness and promote behavioral change.

Project period: 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2022

Funding: 2,298,624 SEK

Partners: KTH, Ellevio and Bright

 

3) Private, industrial and public electricity consumers as a flexibility resource

Capacity shortage in electricity grids threatens to slow down societal development. An increase in demand side flexibility is considered to be part of the solution. The technological potential is known, but knowledge about electricity users’ awareness and acceptance in this context is scarce. Against this background the project aims to increase knowledge on the psychological and socioeconomic potential for, as well as private, industrial and public electricity consumers’ drivers and barriers for contributing with, demand response as well as what role information campaigns, municipal energy audits, individual feedback and power tariffs may play in this respect. The theoretical approaches stem from the disciplines psychology and social marketing, whereas the empirical starting point consists of a collaborative project between a local distribution system operator and a municipality.

Project period: 1 January 2021 – 30 June 2023

Funding: 2,460,133 SEK

Partners: KTH, Ellevio, City of Stockholm and Bright