Pay as you go (PAYG) technology has opened up an unprecedented opportunity to provide energy access and simultaneously collect digital data on underserved populations. The uses of this data are only beginning to emerge, and its actual value is as yet largely undetermined, although potential values abound.
The University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Living Lab's Energy Data for All initiative are currently investigating the value and role of data in the context of PAYG and off-grid energy access. Through extended interviews and research with energy service providers, energy users, and other institutions and organisations with an interest in the sector, we have come across a variety of challenging questions and opportunities. We invite you to join us for an afternoon of brainstorming, ideating and prototyping ways to untangle and address these challenges and opportunities around data, technology and energy access.
How might the off-grid energy sector share and use its collective data more effectively, and what would that look like?
What opportunities exist for improving communication with energy users about their energy use and payment and how could communication be redesigned to benefit companies and users?
How might low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN) influence what data is collected from off-grid energy systems and users and how it is used?
What are some specific ways that we could better use existing public and private data, data collection systems and / or customer relationships to strengthen the off-grid energy sector while realising holistic development?
Participants will determine the final questions to be discussed, and the course of the afternoon will be guided by an experienced facilitator and a team with expertise in data, design, social research and emerging technologies.
By the end of the afternoon, we expect to have:
A storyboard or roadmap for each question or scenario that outlines a vision for addressing challenges and developing new opportunities
An artefact that you can bring back to your colleagues / organization that captures your learning and ideas from the event
A set of challenges for the Energy Data Challenge Weekend, a hackathon-style event that will take place from 2-4 December
A list of possible research questions to be developed further
We look forward to seeing you there!
For questions, contact Cat at firstname.lastname@example.org.