Re-configuring the household – energy system integration through smart grids

More and more households are producing their own electricity with solar panels, charge their own electric vehicle and look for new solutions to use as much of their self-produced electricity as possible at home. Smart grids increase the options to manage energy in households and open up for new ways of making households part of the energy system.

Smart grid technologies in combination with energy storage through batteries, own production of electricity through e.g. photovoltaics and the increasing electrification of energy and transport systems create new options and drivers for the integration of energy-related infrastructures in the household.

The main aim of this project is to better understand how energy consumers in households simultaneously handle these different types of infrastructures such as electricity, heat and transport in demonstration projects of locally integrated energy solutions - how they e.g. adapt heat usage to requirements of electricity load management or integrate their use of electric vehicles with own electricity production and electricity storage.

We use qualitative social science methods to study which new practices of energy use emerge around these at times conflicting demands of integrated energy systems and which 'zones of friction' and 'zones of traction' exist between system requirements on the one hand and new user practices in households on the other. This shall contribute to staking out pathways towards a more sustainable and robust role of households in new energy system designs.

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