CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
CONSumer Energy Efficient Decision Making (CONSEED)
Coordinator of H2020 project CONSEED under EE-08-2016 of the Societal Challenges pillar.
2016 - 2019
There is currently a large knowledge gap in terms of understanding how consumers make decisions which involve an energy consumption component. In particular, it is unclear which factors are salient in consumers’ decisions, the relative importance of these factors and how these factors change by consumer group and product type. It has long been recognised that consumers fail to minimize the total costs of their energy-consuming investments due to a range of market and non-market based failures. This has become known as the ‘Energy Efficiency Gap’. A better understanding of consumer behaviour is particularly important when it comes to addressing this gap and encouraging more efficient purchases. Specifically, how important is energy consumption information in the consumer decision making process and how does this change depending on the consumer type, location and the product in question? CONSEED addresses these issues through the use of randomised controlled field trials, discrete choice experiments and focus groups in Ireland, Norway, Spain, Greece and Slovenia.
ERC: Grid Integration of Renewables
Principal Investigator in ERC:GI a project under the Programme
for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI5) and co-funded
under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
2011 - 2016
This project examines various aspects of the economics of integrating demand side resources onto the electricity grid and consumer behaviour with respect to electricity consumption. Aspects examined include the examination of smart electricity meters, electric vehicles, electrical appliances and energy efficiency investments.
Nudging Energy Efficient Purchasing Decisions (NEEPD)
Principal Investigator of IRC New Horizons Project
2015 - 2018
This project involves an experimental retail trial to investigate firstly if displaying monetary cost information on a range of electrical appliances would encourage consumers towards the purchase of more efficient appliances. It brings together the disciplines of behavioural economics and information systems in a novel way to conduct a field experiment to investigate if providing personalised usage information would encourage people towards more efficient purchases.
Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP)
TCD Funded Investigator examining
Sustainable Energy Use at Data Centres
2016 - 2020
In 2012, data centres in Ireland consumed 6.4% of the national average electricity supply, a figure which is expected to double by 2022. Much of this electricity is consumed by computing equipment which generates heat. Currently this waste heat is considered a negative externality, however, novel emerging technologies offer the potential to convert this waste heat into uses such as space and water heating and to more actively manage the electricity demand. This project will investigate the economic costs and benefits of utilising the waste heat and options for dynamic management of electricity demand for data centres.
This project is part of the wider Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP). ESIPP brings together a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research team in Ireland with expertise in electricity, gas, water and data, with the relevant industry partners to focus on building the human capacity. ESIPP involves 23 academics from 7 institutions across Ireland.
SocialRES: Fostering socially innovative and inclusive strategies for empowering citizens in the renewable energy market of the future.
European Commission funded Horizon 2020 project under call
LC-SC3-CC-1 of the Societal Challenges pillar.
2019 - 2022
This project examines social innovation initiatives in the energy sector and employs innovative techniques such as a Peer to Peer (P2P) crowd-investing for renewable energy sources (RES) projects, P2P lending and a virtual RES energy aggregator platform. The SocialRES team combines partners from a range of disciplines together with industry expertise to develop a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and limitations of the current renewable energy system to foster social innovation and to shape a roadmap for a future, more innovative system.
Professor Denny leads the Irish participation in the SocialRES project and joins a team of researchers from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Romania and the UK. Prof. Denny’s research explores factors affecting initial and continued involvement for customers who have already engaged with aggregators, crowd-funders and cooperatives and will also examine attitudes of the general public regarding engagement with future social innovation projects across 7 countries.