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PHD STUDENT : Design and Experiment with Nudge-type Signals for collective self-consumption at the level of Local Energy Communities - H/F

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Date Limite Candidature : jeudi 24 juin 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR5269-NADMIC-009
Workplace : GRENOBLE
Date of publication : Thursday, June 3, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : WURTZ Frédéric / DELINCHANT benoit
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 September 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

This project takes places in the context of the energy transition, and wants to be a contribution to the development of Renewable Energies ranging from the scale of consumption in buildings (primary source of electricity consumption) to the scale of Local Energy Communities in phase of emergence. This emergence is enabled by the latest technical developments (micro-grids, "smart-grid", etc.), and the latest French and European regulations (2017 law on collective self-consumption, European directives of 2018 and 2019 on energy communities), and corresponds to need of studying short circuits of consumption / production that different actors seem to be calling for (citizens / consumers, local authorities, political authorities, etc.).

Work Context

The objective to which the thesis will contribute within an inter-disciplinary research group (at the interface of the G2ELAB and GAEL laboratories), is to characterize and test in situation the behavior of the new consumer / producer, which, individually and collectively, is intended to receive signals (tariffs or “nudge” type signals) for emerging behavior at the level of local collectives with a view to maximizing the self-consumption rates of locally produced energy. It will also be a matter of promoting management of local energy deficits or surpluses in connection with interconnection networks, while being ready to respond to requests for energy flexibility from this same global network. We will focus on so-called indirect flexibility, namely that which mobilizes users in the loop individually and collectively, via “nudge” and / or monetary signals. The project therefore necessarily addresses an inter-disciplinary approach, to understand and observe the economic behavior of users in interaction with the challenges of energy transition and management of energy networks. This is why it mobilizes work at the interface of a laboratory specializing in experimental economics and a laboratory specializing in electrical engineering.
Method and type of expected results
The methodologies to be implemented will address:
- Identifying the motivations of individual and collective consumers: The Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL) has developed skills for conducting experiments in order to test different incentive mechanisms based on the literature in the field which defines, for example, intrinsic motivation (individuals are internally motivated to do something because it brings them pleasure, moral satisfaction or other), or extrinsic motivation (external factors intervene such as the environment, remuneration and working conditions). These two incentive mechanisms can typically be set up and exploited through the concepts of honorary competition and monetary tournament, respectively.
- The design and testing of Nudge or Tariff type signals in situ: This involves setting up experimental protocols, in a controlled laboratory to essentially target calibrations and in an ecological situation (at the homes of the participants)
- The development of measurement methodology: Implementation of the physical flow measurement system and implementation of the consumer behavior measurement method with the principle of control group, and test group when we want to test and measure the impacts of approaches using nudge or tariff type signals (sending these signals then being qualified as “processing” when they are applied to the test group).
In terms of results, it is expected that there will be an understanding, analysis and real-life measurement of individual and collective dynamics in the development and management of use and consumption behaviors and regulations within localized energy systems. With the help of recent or future technological developments, this could make it possible to make the instruments for controlling energy demand (“demand response program”) more effective by integrating inter-personal and / or collective coordination mechanisms ( like collective management of common resources). These monetary (shared invoicing, intra-community pricing, etc.) and non-monetary (comparative nudges, community information / advice, rules for sharing constraints, etc.) will be developed and tested in an “ecological” (or real) situation by energy communities to improve self-consumption rates at the local level, estimate and mobilize the self-consumption potential that can be mobilized through indirect flexibility.
Scientific project proposed as part of the thesis subject
The study carried out during the thesis will go through the following stages:
- 1 ° State of the art of energy issues for short consumption circuits for energy transition and global management, and state of the art of theoretical concepts to be mobilized in experimental economics making it possible to design the sending of signals of the type nudge and / or tariff, to then aim to measure and analyze the behavior of users as economic consumers, individually and / or collectively, by being integrated into a local energy community
- 2 ° Surveys and / or "focus-group" -type studies (groups put in situation by presentation and virtual questionnaire in the laboratory), to probe a priori the opinions, the perception and the intentions of the subjects as to their appropriation and their involvement in a “Nudge / Signals” type approach at the level of energy communities
- 3 ° Design of nudges and experiments to be carried out in a situation (in the field), aimed at testing and measuring the impact of the signals sent: we will take inspiration from the nudges and the experimental protocols explored by G2ELAB and GAEL in the framework of previous projects ("Living Lab GreEn-ER", "EXPESIGNO", ...) but by adapting them to the new context of Local Energy Communities by focusing primarily on residential housing (experimentation fields of energy communities are in progress. recruitment courses through partnerships)
- 4 ° Carrying out experiments by targeting at least 2 energy communities, and taking advantage of the support and know-how of G2ELAB (for the implementation aspect of energy measures) and GAEL (for the implementation of experiments, from a legal and administrative point of view and the scientific method of carrying out the experiments).
- 5 ° Qualitative but above all quantitative analysis of the indirect flexibility induced by the response to signals during experiments carried out in 4 °. Comparison with the intentions measured and declared a priori in 2 °. Extrapolation of impacts to the scale of energy consumption and the overall energy transition.
The work will be carried out at the interface of a laboratory specializing in experimental economics (GAEL) and a laboratory specializing in electrical engineering (G2ELAB).
Part of the work will be carried out in the laboratory, and another part will consist of collecting data on experimental fields made up of collective self-consumption operations which will constitute the study areas.

Constraints and risks

No particular risk

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