Tuesday, 12 September 2017

PUBLICATION - Energy Policy Audioslides (again)

I have now worked my way through academic publisher Elsevier's fairly painful audioslide application to create a short annotated slideshow of the key themes of my recently published Energy Policy article "Network operators and the transition to decentralised electricity: An Australian socio-technical case study".

If you would like to see a free, five minute summary of my paper, take a look here:

To view the complete paper, head here.

EXPERIENCE: RenewEconomy article

It's always been a goal of mine to try to get some media interest in my research.  I've now unsuccessfully tried publishing in The Conversation three times, however today I've had great success with publishing a post in RenewEconomy.

RenewEconomy is the number one source for renewable energy news in Australia, and it turns out there are quite a lot of industry people reading it - as I know from the friends and colleagues who have been in touch today to let me know they enjoyed my post!

The article talks about my latest research article, which looked at network operators and why they might 'push back' on additional distributed generation, like solar energy.  One of the best aspects of publishing is seeing how people respond to the article, with people in the energy community agreeing to the research findings and wondering how we should overcome political influence restricting renewable energy adoption in the energy industry.

Friday, 8 September 2017

PUBLICATION: Network operators and the transition to decentralised electricity

The second last paper to be published as part of my PhD looks at network operators and their potential reasons for 'pushing back' on increased penetration of distributed generation.  There are four reasons network operators appear to 'push back' on renewable energy, like solar: it creates technical issues for the network; it reduces the income for network operators; they lack strategic capabilities to make decisions for the future; and because of a risk averse engineering culture.  My research did find that individuals can make a difference - particularly those interested in supporting renewable energy from within the organisation, and Ministers with the capability to direct network operators to allow additional distributed generation.

My paper is available from Energy Policy, with a free, author's version available until October 20.

Monday, 28 August 2017

PUBLICATION: Perceptions of persuasion in policy development

Hot on the heels of my recent graduation, the (hopefully) third last paper in my PhD was published this week.  This is a shorter paper I prepared for the World Renewable Energy Congress Conference earlier this year and focuses on the final two questions I asked my interview subjects:
  1. Do you think you have personally been able to influence solar policy? If yes, what policy did you influence and how? If no, do you think you could influence solar policy, and how?
  2. Do you think governments should promote the development of renewable energy, and what do you think that promotion should look like?
I used the responses to these questions to consider which stakeholders had the power to influence government policy relating to solar energy, and what the policies they sought to influence looked like.  My findings showed that, unless you are an MP in Cabinet, your influence over policy is likely to be low - except if you're able to work with other stakeholders to create political pressure for a certain outcome!

This paper is available in the Open Access Journal Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability, so crazy with the downloads!

Friday, 18 August 2017

EXPERIENCE: Now, I'm a doctor


Yesterday I picked up my PhD diploma from the post office.  Unfortunately, graduation ceremony dates were changed for 2017 so I happened to be interstate for the ceremony and missed my bow-and-tipping-of-the-cap opportunity... so it was all a bit underwhelming.  But still, I'm finally a doctor!

This won't be my final post, as I've still got a number of papers in the submission process (when will it end?!) so watch this space!

Monday, 29 May 2017

EXPERIENCE: Teaching in China

I have just returned from a 10 week teaching post at Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, China.  I had the pleasure of teaching 35 wonderful Chinese students who hope to finish their undergraduate degree, or complete a masters degree, at UWA.  My job was to teach them about Australian academic culture, including independent learning skills, critical thinking skills and referencing skills.  But I learnt a huge amount from them about China and Chinese culture.  Many of my students went out of their way to make sure I had a great time in China - showing me the best places in Harbin and all the delicious foods!  I have many treasured memories of my trip, and it was also a great learning experience to understand more about how students learn and to find out more about Australia's most important trading partner.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

PUBLICATION: Effects of incentives on solar adoption

Another thesis chapter has been published!  My latest publication examines the effects of financial incentives on the adoption of residential solar energy systems.  The results suggest that financial incentives lead to an increase in the adoption of solar systems by making systems cheaper and they also prompt people to make the decision to install as incentives are only available for a limited time.  The people who adopted systems because financial incentives were available were different from those people who installed systems when incentives were not available.  One potential problem with providing incentives is that many people choose to install systems because their friends and family have told them about the financial benefits of systems, however people are generally more satisfied with their systems if they do their own research.

This paper was published in Energy Research and Social Science.  While this is a relatively new journal it is increasingly recognised as a leader in the field of energy policy and society.  My paper is available for free until June 27.