The Future of Household Energy Use

Internship Enexis
22.5 ECTS
Utrecht University

I investigated innovations that could alter future Dutch household energy use. Highlights of the project is presented below.
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Problem Statement

The energy grid is experiencing change due to increased renewable energy installation and electric vehicle purchases. In the future, households can change their behaviour or the use of technologies that can affect their energy needs. By tracing these changes back to human needs, 3 future scenarios were developed.

Scenario 1: The age of Data

This scenarios focusses on data as the main 'currency' in an age where everything is shared.

Internet of Things

Almost all products are now connected to the internet. More connected products mean that more data is gathered. Various forms of these data allows central players to operate energy infrastructure with high efficiency.

Autonomous Vehicles Level 5

Main mode of transport are self driving vehicles. These vehicles are able to drive themselves.

Heat Use

Most of the heat demand of households is covered by district heat or Green gas.

Grid Design

A centrally operated grid through the use of Internet of things devices.

Scenario 2: Sharing Cities

The focus of this scenario is that household are sharing more, for example cars, homes and other goods. Urbanization is rising. This scenario assumes that household heat requirements are fulfilled with district heat.

Shared living

Increased urbanization makes it financially more attractive to share places. Furthermore, the circular economy impactsthe lives of many households leading to the further sharing of goods.

Modular Buildings

Increase in housing demand leads to the emergence of new housing practices. Modular buildings are buildings that can be put together in a matter of days instead of months. As a result they require an electricity grid that can be adaptable.

Shared Autonomous Vehicles Level 3/4

An important mode of transport in this scenarioare semi self driving vehicles that are shared. As a result the transportation sector requires less energy.

Grid Design

A decentral organized grid that is flexible and adaptable to the local needs.

Scenario 3: Central Distrust

This scenario assumes that there is more civil unrest due to unmitigated climate change, food shortages and less trust in the central government. Life is mostly centered around local communities.

Near Zero Energy Buildings

As a result of this unrest, material and energy use is minimized. Efforts to minimize the wasting of energy are widely adopted. Existing buildings are retrofitted with more and better insulation and are able to provide at least some of their own energy.

No Autonomous Vehicles

The distrust in bigger organizations is also seen in the technological sector. As a result people do not trust to use autonomous vehicles nor do they want to give up their data for it.

Grid Design

A localized operable grid that is cheap to operate.