Ongoing research projects USER

Sustainable or segregated? Energy communities for a broad sustainable energy transition

The energy community (EC) concept is under development and has recently gained wide popularity among policy-makers. EC describes networks of local producers and consumers of energy and exists in various forms, including what the European Commission has described as “citizen energy communities” and “renewable energy communities”. However, technology for renewable energy is not distributed equally among different socio-economic groups which leads to gentrification, segregation and can also in the long run lead to serious conflicts.

We aim to improve the understanding on how EC's can be used as tools in the planning of an inclusive, just and efficient energy transition. The objectives are to produce new knowledge on 1, the intentions, opportunities and strategies among key actors in public policy and public planning to externally guide and organize EC's, 2, the internal conditions, enablers and obstacles for creation and management of EC's, and 3, the potentials and risks with EC's contributions to reduce energy segregation. We will also provide practical guidance to planners, leading to increased quality in decision-making related to energy transition in Sweden.

In the project, researchers in the social and engineering sciences at Uppsala University together with practitioners at Uppsala Municipality will explore scope, limitations and complications of EC's, and work out advice for their planning so as to facilitate a transition to a sustainable society.

Project period: September 2021 – August 2025

Project manager: Klas Palm

Main funder: FORMAS as part of ”Nationella forskningsprogrammet för hållbart samhällsbyggande” (the National research program for sustainable community building)

Project participants: Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, Institute for Housing and Urban Research and Uppsala Municipality

Partners: STUNS Energi

Evaluating the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on electricity consumption patterns in the residential, public and commercial sector in Sweden

The covid-19 pandemic has had drastic effects on the way we live. Due to restrictions and recommendations, many people changed their habits. With the sudden shift to the home office, it is likely that a shift in electricity consumption also takes place between the residential, public and commercial sectors. Meanwhile, daily electricity consumption patterns of residents may change when people become more flexible in their daily routines. Understanding these changes is crucial, as they affect the load on the electricity network as well as the requirements of buildings for a sustainable energy transition. In this study, we quantify the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has led to shifts in the electricity consumption patterns in the different sectors in Sweden. Secondly, we conduct a survey to understand reasons behind these changes, as well as future perspectives based on the intentions of residents, companies and governmental authorities for a post-pandemic era.

Project period: January 2022 – June 2023

Project manager: Vera van Zoest

Main funder: the Swedish Energy Agency as part of the program E2B2

Project participants: Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering and Department of Information Technology

Partners: Ellevio

USERS’ ROLE IN IMPLEMENTING SMART GRIDS

The project focuses on the role of electricity consumers and prosumers in the smart grid. The transition to a sustainable energy system both affects and makes demands on electricity users. Thus, conditions need to be created for them to contribute, directly or indirectly, to a more efficient and flexible electricity consumption and self-produced electricity. Against this background, the overall aim of the project is to assess the potential and impact of different incentives in these respects, to increase knowledge on electricity consumers’ and prosumers’ drivers and barriers in this context as well as to study their need for feedback and technical solutions in terms of products and services to these ends. The project is conducted as part of a number of different collaboration- and demonstration projects on smart grids with partners from the academy as well as the public and the private sector.

Project period: April 2019 – March 2024

Project manager: Cajsa Bartusch

Main funder: the Kamprad Family foundation as part of the program Resistance and power – on smart grids for the many people https://smartgridsforthemany.se/en

Project participants: Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering as well as the Department of Psychology at Uppsala University, the School of Architecture and Built Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University and the Department of Thematic Studies - Technology and Social Change at Linköping University

Partners: STUNS Energi, Sustainable innovation, Ngenic, Upplands Energi, the City of Stockholm, Ellevio and Bright

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: January 2021 – June 2023

Project manager: Cajsa Bartusch

Main funder: the Swedish Energy Agency as part of the program SamspEL

Project participants: Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering and Department of Psychology

Partners: Ellevio and Bright

AUTOFLEX – AUTOMATIC DEMAND RESPONSE AND ITS EFFECTS ON GRID CAPACITY AND POWER TARIFFS

Sweden’s energy system needs to be adapted to a new energy landscape including renewable production, decentralized distribution and demand response. One of the major challenges is to implement appropriate systems and incentives for the purpose of enabling ordinary customers to contribute with flexible electricity use. The project entails that that academia and industry work together with the inhabitants of Sala to identify existing barriers and develop strategies to bridge them. The project will study the acceptance and effect of automated demand response programs from both a customer and system perspective, develop guidelines for grid operators implementing power tariffs, empirically demonstrate that capacity utilization can be increased by at least 15% without physical investments in the electricity grid as well as monitor how choice of optimization strategy affects the outcome for electricity consumers and the electricity grid. The project will hence provide increased knowledge on the technical, economic and social potential of automated demand response.

Project period: January 2021 – June 2023

Project manager: Björn Berg, Ngenic

Main funder: the Swedish Energy Agency as part of the program SamspEL

Project participants: Ngenic, STUNS Energi, Sweco Energuide, Sala-Heby Energi Elnät, HESAB and the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering at Uppsala University

Partners: Ngenic, STUNS Energi, Sweco Energuide, Sala-Heby Energi Elnät, HESAB and the Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering at Uppsala University

USER CENTRED 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-centred 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 behavioural change.

Project period: January 2021 – December 2022

Project manager: Cajsa Bartusch

Main funder: the Swedish Energy Agency as part of the program “Design för energieffektiv vardag”

Project participants: Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering at Uppsala University, the School of Architecture and Built Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Bright

Partners: Ellevio

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 socio-economic 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 socio-economic 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: January 2021 – September 2022

Project manager: Cajsa Bartusch

Main funder: the Swedish Energy Agency as part of the program SamspEL

Project participants: Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering at Uppsala University, STUNS Energi and RISE

Partners: Uppsala Parkerings AB

Last modified: 2022-01-31