On the edge of supply: Designing renewable energy supply into everyday life
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© 2014. The authors. With peak oil behind us, nuclear generation capacity dwindling, and increasingly daunting looking carbon emissions targets, we are moving to a world where we must consider transitioning to renewable energy sources. Renewables are time varying and their inherent unpredictability must challenge our everyday assumptions around energy availability-leading, we believe, to an emphasis on 'supply' rather than 'demand'. Using a range of methods including action research, participatory design and technology mediated enquiry, we report on our work in partnership with the community of Tiree as an exemplar of this future. Tiree is the outermost of the Scottish Inner Hebrides - a remote island on the edge of the national electricity grid with a precarious grip on energy-here we uncover the role of renewables and the resilience of a community in moving away from traditional energy provision. We offer opportunities for designing ICT to support supply driven practices in this context, and a simple framework for exploiting under and over supply.
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