- Research Opportunity In: Information Technology
- Research Centre: Sustainable Development Research Institute
- Title of Proposed Research Degree Project: Enabling community energy supply through the application of commercially viable, in house, innovative IT Platforms.
Community Energy is an emerging theme across EU energy policy. The engagement of citizens in the energy transition is critical to achieve the EU’s 2050 climate goals. There is an increasing opportunity for communities/citizens to produce and distribute their own renewable energy. As part of this market development new community owned energy supply companies are emerging and there is a need to develop innovative IT solutions which can respond to the specific requirements of these companies while also complying with market requirements. Community Power, the case study company is Ireland’s first community owned electricity supplier and is aiming to develop new systems and solutions to ensure it meets market demand and comply with regulatory requirements.
Advances in intelligent metering are opening the door to new demand and supply models that carry the potential of fundamentally changing the relationship between customers and their energy suppliers. This project wishes to take full advantage of this changing landscape by developing an agile IT infrastructure which can adapt to these changing market conditions
The main research question is “What is an optimal IT operating model to enable Community Energy Supplier commercial viability?”.
Market trends as identified by Oskoue et al. (2008), aggregation opportunities discussed by Ejeh et al. (2021) will be considered as well as market regulations and trends (Karim, 2021). The applied research will be carried out with experts in the community energy sector and will result in an IT solution being tested and applied within the market. The collaboration with Community Power will ensure that the milestones and deliverables are clearly defined. The system will be designed and developed to respond to future demands including introduction of micro-generation, supplier aggregation and potentially Smart Pay As You Go (PAYG) requirements. Working directly with Community Power the research will demonstrate the viability of implementation of the proposed solution in the community energy market while also proposing future system development and optimisation measures. Community Power staff will be available to inform the researcher on technical requirements of the project as well as providing a workspace.
The project will follow an Agile software development approach and move from an initial analysis phase defining the project requirements, through a development phase which will also address the change methodology from external to internal custom IT solution, optimisations of the system will be addressed e.g. integration with other in-house solutions CRM etc and customer facing solutions. Then pass to deployment and handover to replace the outsource legacy system.
‘Community Power is an Irish owned electricity supplier with a growing customer base and new Community Owned Solar generation projects coming on stream in 2022. If you have an interest in the Energy Sector and exploring opportunities presented by the increase in distributed energy resources then this role will present a real opportunity for you to deepen you understanding of this sector and develop expertise in energy innovation and user-experience design’.
Funded by Community Power Ltd:
- Academic Fees €5,007 per year, up to two years
- Stipend €16,000 per year, up to two years
- Level 8 Honours Degree in an appropriate field of study is essential
(applications considered with a Grade 2:2 or higher with relevant experience),
- Experience of research and relevant work experience
- Commitment to a 24-month programme of study and research
- Self-motivated with an ability to be self-directed in much of their own work
- Able to plan work over longer periods and have strong writing and analytical skills
- Interest in pursuing a career in academia and/or research
- Interest in pursuing post graduate studies in areas related to renewable energy, community participation, smart metering and building digital services to accommodate a decentralised energy system
Informal Research Enquiries should be directed to Mike Winterburn Email: Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for Applications
Tuesday 15th February, 2022
Application forms to be emailed to the Graduate Studies and Research Office, TUS Moylish Campus. Email: email@example.com
For queries on application process please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org