The world faces increasingly uncertain and uneven energy futures, facilitated by climate change, peak demand, the increasing integration of distributed energy sources into electricity systems, and people’s changing digital-enabled lifestyles. The Energy Futures theme responds to this uncertainty by developing non-predictive methodologies and speculations for future energy demand, based on people’s own experiences with emerging technologies and demand response initiatives, 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 strategies of understanding, forecasting and intervening in emerging and possible energy futures.
Our research considers energy futures from multiple angles, mainly focused on people’s everyday lives. For example, we are interested in how emerging energy technologies, such as battery storage, electric vehicles, home automation, 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, caregiving, entertainment, pet care and comfort, housekeeping, mobility, and other activities), are changing future energy demands. Overlaying these research priorities is our interest in the future needs of vulnerable or marginalised groups, such as those experiencing energy hardship, or people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Research in this theme achieves both academic and societal impact. Our applied work collaborates with 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.
Partners: Ausgrid; AusNet Services; Energy Consumers Australia
Funded by: The Australian Government through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects funding Scheme
Monash research team: Yolande Strengers; Sarah Pink; Larissa Nicholls; Kari Dahlgren; Rex Martin
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