Thursday the 23rd of March Sofie Nyström had her 50% seminar, a highly visited event, the room was full! And of course she passed with brilliance!
Her thesis title is currently “Renegotiating the role of households in the future electricity grid”, and after a presentation of her broad area of work, a constructive discussion were held with discussant Toke Haunstrup Bach Christensen. Among other things she presented work on design fiction and the smart grid. Congratulations to Sofie for an excellent seminar and passing the milestone!
The electricity system is undergoing a major transition to include more renewables and becoming more technologically advanced. This transition results in new roles and responsibilities for households to partake in demand response or participate in small-scale energy communities. Smart meters and other types of smart grid technology have been regarded as the silver bullet to “activate” households on the electricity market, a narrative that is increasingly questioned from the perspective of households’ everyday life. In my work, I investigate stakeholder expectations on households in the future Swedish electricity grid, as well as how everyday practices of households relate to these expectations. From a household perspective, I explore how smart technology affects the dynamics within households and how energy technology can be redesigned to acknowledge and empower a diversity of households. In the context of energy communities, I seek to explore how households can be empowered through design methodologies to participate in a future electricity grid where sharing, storage and consumption of electricity needs to be aligned with intermittent production. These questions are explored through ethnographic research, critical discourse analysis and design methodologies in two research projects called “Stories of the home in the smart grid” and “Energy communities – a common cause?”.