15.02.17: Renewable Energy – Transition to a Low Carbon System

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The costs of solar power (PV) continue to fall, and deployment has consistently outpaced estimated projections. However, there are challenges to integrating large amounts of solar power into electricity grids, and already parts of the network struggle to accommodate further deployment. PV also impacts the demand-side. Consumers adopting PV can become more engaged with energy consumption, and can change attitudes and patterns of behaviour. These changes can have real benefits: lowering electricity bills, allowing more PV to be installed on the grid, and encouraging adoption of further low-carbon measures. This talk focusses on understanding the behavioural responses of domestic consumers to PV. How do people engage with the technology, what factors affect behaviour-change, and what insights does this give us about the potential for flexible demand to help secure a low-carbon future?

Dr Eoghan McKenna is a researcher at the Environmental Chnage Institute with a focus on lower crabon futures. Eoghan’s research focusses on addressing the challenge of transitioning to a low-carbon future and in particular the role that active energy consumers and energy storage can play in the integration of renewable energy into power systems. His research is interdisciplinary in nature, integrating quantitative, data-driven engineering models of energy supply and demand with qualitative insights from behavioural and social sciences.