In February 2013 I have started my PhD on renewable energy trading and isolated smart grids. My research is a comparative study between Friesland in the north of the Netherlands and some place in India (which still needs to be identified). Usually we are supplied with energy by national grids but there are regions in the world where it’s not profitable either for the government or nor a company to establish transmission lines to this particular place. For such situations, an isolated smart grid based on renewable energy is a good solution. One of the project’s focuses is how we could use games to help people understand and transact energy within the community. First step is to understand the local context, both social and cultural, to see patterns of behavior related to the energy consumption. Then, based on the fieldwork, we will specify the exact challenges and needs in given locations. Also, we will try to predict any problems which may occur may when a smart grid is introduced and find out how games could give people a better understanding of their own, as well as of their local community’s energy consumption. In a local smart grid, you become not only a user but also a producer of the energy. The ramifications of this fact can be used as incentives to promote responsible and informed consumption of energy.
text by Malgorzata Pawlak