26 September 2023

Uni study open for big weather stories

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Members of the community impacted by extreme weather events are being invited to take part in a new study at the University of NSW (UNSW).

Encouraging regional NSW residents to join in, the Office of the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) said the UNSW project sought to understand the role of solar, batteries and Distributed Energy Resources in maintaining regional electricity supply during disruptions to the electricity grid.

The research team at UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering said it wanted to hear from people who may have lost power due to extreme weather events or were concerned about future power outages.

“The study aims to build energy resilience in vulnerable communities by developing an understanding of the role that solar, batteries and other renewable energy sources, as well as energy management approaches, can play in maintaining electricity supply to regional and rural communities during bushfires and other disruptions to the electricity grid,” the research team said.

“We will be collecting and analysing participants’ energy data, and sharing community experiences among communities affected by fires, floods and storms across NSW,” it said.

“We will also conduct scenario visioning workshops with participants to explore how options to build energy resilience can align with community priorities and meet their needs.”

The research team said that by participating in the Energy Sustainability through Knowledge and Information Exchange and Sharing (ESKIES) study, people would help build a better understanding of how solar, batteries and other power sources could be used to keep phones charged, lights on, and appliances running through extreme events.

It said participants would be compensated for their time with a $50 gift card for each interview, workshop or focus group they undertook.

Interested readers can register to participate in the UNSW study at this PS News link.

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