We had a talk with Prof Johanna Hoffken and Natascha van Bommel, PhD student from the Technical University of Eindhoven. They are responsible for measuring the social impact of MUSE GRIDS in its physical and virtual demosites.
How did the recent Covid-19 crisis impact your work in MUSE GRIDS?
Some of our field research activities have changed slightly, and we have adjusted our planning for field research as well. By coincidence, we have vsited our demonstration sites in Italy and Belgium, and our virtual demonstration site in Spain, just before the anti-corona measures (lock-downs) set in.
Part of TU/e’s work for MUSE GRIDS is to research the demonstration site in India. The impact of Covid-19 in India is the fourth biggest outbreak of the virus in the world, and the amount of confirmed cases of the virus is still growing. On top of that, the Sundarbans (the region of our demonstration side) are in the aftermath of the super cyclone Amphan. The efforts to repair and rebuild requires a big mobilization of people, while also being in a pandemic. These are enormous challenges. We therefore await the development of these disasters before making concrete research plans, and in the meantime we really hope for the best for all the people affected by these disasters.
What are the latest updates in the community engagement work?
As academic researchers, our work starts with the consultation of relevant studies and reflecting about key notions that guide, inspire and impact on our work. We are currently researching the relationship of energy communities with energy justice. Both are central and rich notions that influence our work in Muse Grids! Next to that, we are using the experiences of our sister projects in BRIDGE, and the large scientific body of work on social impact assessment, to explore the variety of ways to research the social impact of (community) energy projects.
TuE represented MUSE GRIDS at the European Sustainable Energy Week. Tell us more!
On June 25 we joined the panel discussion during the EUSEW, which was a great success. The session aimed to share experiences about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the work on the demonstration sites of EU H2020 projects. For more info, please check here.