The role of users in smart grids

Background

When discussing sustainability and the path to a carbon-free energy system, much of the focus falls on the technology that will power this transition. Less attention is given to the users who will need to drive the demand, adjust their habits, and adopt these technologies. Solar panels need to be purchased, energy-saving devices need to be tuned and smart-grids will ultimately need to be used by users. We place these users at the center of our research.

Aims

The overall aim of USER – Uppsala Smart Energy Research group – is to increase general knowledge on electricity consumers’, prosumers’ and drivers of electric vehicles’ 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.

Approaches

Our approaches vary from quantitative methods that revolve around the statistical analysis of energy data, to more qualitative methods that aim to further an understanding of the motivators, drivers and barriers of users.

Keywords
Demand response, electricity consumption, prosumers

Research Group

Project leader

Cajsa Bartusch, Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering and Peter Juslin, Department of Psychology

Other project members

Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering; Fouad El Gohary, Tina Ringenson, Eva Svanberg, Isak Öhrlund,

Department of Psychology; Mona Guath and Britt Stikvoort

Department of Statistics: Mattias Nordin and Mårten Schultzberg

Department of Information Technology; Vera van Zoest

Links and references

https://www.uu.se/en/research/research-groups/user-en/ 

Additional funding (apart from StandUp for Energy)

Besides STandUP for Energy, USER is also funded by the Swedish Energy Agency and the Kamprad Family Foundation.