PhD: Smart local energy systems for a net-zero future

Energy systems around the world are becoming increasingly reliant on decentralised renewable or low carbon generation resources, experiencing new types of loads, and seeing the demand side engage in new ways. Aligned with these changes is a push toward digitalisation and increasing sophistication of automation (e.g., artificial intelligence) used to provide system services. This “smartness” is driving exponential growth in the scale and diversity of data, presenting opportunities and challenges in equal measure.

The proposed PhD project will explore two key issues: (1) how widescale socio-technical transition toward SLES can be enabled by considering co-evolutionary interactions between energy system elements (e.g. technologies, supply chains, infrastructures, firms, markets, user practices, cultural meanings, institutions) in a value-driven vs grant drive environment; and (2) the role of different stakeholders in delivering this – how does the potential to capture value align with existing priorities, commitments, capabilities, and governance structures?

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Closing date: 3 May 2021