The world currently faces an increasingly uncertain and diverse set of energy futures, facilitated by climate change, peak demand, the increasing integration of distributed energy sources into electricity grids and energy systems, and people’s changing digital-enabled lifestyles. The Energy Futures theme responds to this uncertainty and diversity by developing 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.
Our research considers energy futures from multiple angles, mainly focused on the household domain. We are interested in how emerging energy technologies, such as solar PV panels, battery storage, electric vehicles, and demand response capability, are being sensed, apprehended and experienced by households as part of shared energy futures. Concurrently, we are exploring how people’s digital-enabled lifestyles involving new and emerging technologies for remote working and collaboration, entertainment, pet care and comfort, housekeeping, new mobility technologies, and other activities, are changing future energy demands.
Research in this theme achieves both academic and societal impact. Its applied work is conducted in collaboration with our energy partners, including electricity distributors, consumer advocacy organisations and peak bodies such as Energy Consumers Australia. Through this research we are interested in understanding how emerging technologies can contribute towards affordable, equitable and sustainable energy futures.
Associate Professor Yolande Strengers is a digital sociologist and human-computer interaction scholar investigating the sustainability and gender effects of digital, emerging and smart technologies. Yolande is the leader of the Energy Futures research theme.
Contact: Yolande Strengers