Interconnected, intelligent energy systems are a highly discussed issue. Those systems are used by customers to control and meter their energy usage. So called energy prosumers go a step further and produce their energy, use it efficiently and feed excess energy into the grid. Of particular interest are users that are motivated to invest their time to deal with technical and organizational requirements and in consequence become innovative.
The Internet is an important enabler for those users. Here, they network, solve questions, discuss, share and improve ideas and work on collective projects. However, user communities in the smart energy area are a lot less intensively visible than in other areas of user development such as 3D printing, leisure sports and open source software.
In a three-year research project we are going to investigate the reasons that stimulate users to be innovative and those that impede such behavior. We will look at users that are interested in smart energy technologies, implement those technologies and those, that are active in online forums, open garages and discussions with like-minded people. In a later part of the project we will have a look at how the supply side can connect to active users through user-centric business models.
Comments, critique and ideas regarding our research project are highly appreciated.
Further information can be found here.