Annual TU Delft PowerWeb Institute Conference | June 20, 2022 | TU Delft X

This year’s annual conference was successfully organized by the faculty of Industrial Design and Engineering. This year's edition focused on the role research and industry can take in bridging the societal and technical aspects of the energy transition: in other words, how can we ensure the people and organizations affected by the energy transition and/or who use the technology be more involved in the decision making process? And how can we ensure the technology reflects the needs of the people who use it?

We had two powerful keynotes by Drs David Shipworth and Caroline Nevejan. Dr. Shipworth discussed the importance of ensuring decisions around the energy transition are inclusive, the need to engage policy makers, and that choosing the most effective energy transition path that will deliver and meet the needs of people over the most “optimal” and “efficient” one. Dr. Nevejan discussed how open information was a critical aspect in catalizing the energy transition and the need for synergy between research and policy making. 

Session Summaries
The session ‘Exploring the Social and Technical Challenges of the Energy Grid in Amsterdam South-East’ gave the audience insight into the project objectives and the technical and social challenges we encounter while designing the LIFE platform. During an interactive panel discussion people asked about the panel’s approach on various topics such as the role of energy poverty in our research, targets for participation and the estimated value of the platform for the local community.

During the session 'Integrating Sustainable Energy in Households', a diverse group of people with both organisational and technical backgrounds came together to develop ideas on how to integrate sustainable energy in households. Novel and insightful ideas focused on involving residents and end-users more closely into renovation and design  processes, and on adapting feedback, education and financial incentives to foster participation by all.

In the ‘Energising with data workshop’, the technical audience took up the challenge of discussing energy and sustainability in the school context. Everyone actively engaged in getting into the shoes of 15-year-old children, who are the new citizens, (future) ambassadors, makers, and decision-makers. We reflected on the challenge of engaging teenagers in the energy challenges through data: a new source of information to rely on, a new source of information to be critical with (not blindly trusting often noisy and incomplete sensor data). We asked: how does this view of the building contrast with the inhabitant's feelings and perception, and distention within the inhabitants (e.g. children in the classroom)? Energy literacy also comes with data literacy. Data can reveal how small an impact an individual action can bring in contrast with the (high) effort, which can also discourage and backfire (people jumping to the conclusion that what they do can’t change anything).

During the workshop ‘Applying co-creation in the Dutch Energy Transition’ two groups of around 10 people experienced that creativity feeds on interaction! The interactive part consisted of a pressure cooker brainstorm session on ‘designing for social contagion’. In smaller groups, thoughts were exchanged, ideas build upon, new ones were co-created, and people drew, wrote and spoke enthusiastically about them. Best idea of the session? ;-) Energy related tattoos as an introverted (non-pushy) way to spread the message!

The flashtalks covered several areas of the energy transition and involved both researchers and practiotioners covering research outcomes and idea pitches. Discussions followed after the flashtalks in the foyer during the extended break.

Video recordings of the sessions can be found here

Visual notes can be found here.