Digital Energy Futures Collaborates on Dutch Research

DEF researchers collaborated with Dr Lenneke Kuijer at the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands for her project Exploring probable futures of summer comfort in Dutch households.

Due to climate change, the frequencies, temperatures, and durations of heatwaves and levels of solar gain in the Netherlands are expected to increase. How Dutch households will adapt to this change is still uncertain. Exploring probable futures of summer comfort in Dutch households focuses on: where are Dutch practices of summer comfort heading?

“Responding to raising energy demand levels for domestic cooling, the project explored probable futures of summer comfort in Dutch households. Core to the project were in-depth interviews with households and domain experts. The report translates these into a deeper understanding of rising demand, as well as opportunities to curb further lock-in into energy-intensive forms of summer comfort.”

Dr Lenneke Kuijer

The study, funded within the Talent Programme of the Dutch Research Council (NWO), took a social practice perspective and was conducted as part of a research project into the role of interactive technology design in shaping future everyday life.

Dr Lenneke Kuijer acknowledged Associate Professor Yolande Strengers and the Emerging Technologies Research Lab, Dr Larissa Nicholls, Dr Kari Dahlgren, Dr Jathan Sadowski, Professor Sarah Pink, Dr Melisa Duque Hurtado and Associate Professor Shanti Sumartojo for receiving her as a guest researcher and assisting in the shaping of this report.

During her visit, Dr Kuijer met with members of the Digital Energy Futures team to learn from their expertise on home cooling in Australian households and to develop her study on cooling futures in The Netherlands. Dr Kuijer also met with other members of the ETLab to learn from our digital and design ethnography approaches and share her expertise and experiences as a human computer interaction design scholar working on sustainability and consumption related research.

The Energy Futures research program at ETLab develops non-predictive speculations and imaginaries for future energy demand to help guide policy and planning in the energy sector. Drawing on socio-technical concepts and theories and methodological anticipation, we are developing future scenarios, principles and programs of understanding, forecasting and intervening in possible energy futures. The project’s key focus is on cooling practices and emerging air purification technologies that may change peak electricity demand patterns in the future.

Digital Energy Futures aims to understand and forecast changing digital lifestyle trends and their impact on future household electricity demand, including peak times. The project expects to generate new knowledge by employing digital ethnography and sociological theories to investigate how changing social practices will impact electricity sector planning.


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