Transforming Energy Provision and Reducing Carbon Emissions

Friday, July 18, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: Booth 44
Oral Presentation
Ritsuko OZAKI , Business School, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Isabel SHAW , Business School, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
Our society is increasingly using more electricity. We have recently seen many changes in consumer and domestic electronics: mobile phones, tablets and Internet hubs are, for instance, now part of our everyday sceneries. It is also expected that radical changes in heat and transport services, such as domestic electric heat-pumps and vehicles, will happen in a near future. As a result of this change, it is anticipated that domestic and commercial electricity consumption will rise, which then will increase a level of carbon emissions. The problem is how our society will cope with it? Various actors are engaged in initiatives seeking to tackle this problem. Engineers are developing a number of possible solutions by attempting to ‘re-engineer’ the ways in which electricity is provided to so-called end-users: for example, voltage reduction. Focusing on the proposed socio-technological aspects of these solutions, this paper discusses how engineers conceive of the problem of ever-increasing carbon emissions, investigating the framework and assumptions about socio-technological provision and usage. This includes, for example, an analysis of how transformation processes in energy systems are understood and configured. We will present our findings from interviews with engineers who are involved in a large-scale European research project that seeks to offer a solution.