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Practical matters How to find us T. (Thijs) Bouman, PhD

T. (Thijs) Bouman, PhD

Assistant Professor (University Lecturer and Researcher)

FlexECs: Flexible Energy Communities: Coupling e-mobility and energy communities (Jun 2022 – Dec 2026)

Type of involvement: Work package lead, (co-)supervision of 2 PhD researchers, 1 postdoc

Funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) KIC-call: Energy transition as a socio-technical challenge.

Energy communities (ECs) are seen as one of the cornerstones of the sustainable energy transition. Yet, ECs’ success is limited by two main factors: (1) grid capacity at distribution system level, and (2) the ability and willingness of people, public and private entities to engage in joint activities in the energy sector by means of forming a “community”. This project investigates whether “mobile” ECs, based on electrical vehicles, can address these limitations. Specifically, electrical vehicles provide opportunities for: (1) energy transport outside the fixed grid, and (2) broadening the range of communities that can form ECs.

Research team: dr. Thijs Bouman, dr. Janet Veldstra, Prof. dr. Linda Steg (Environmental Psychology, University of Groningen), dr. ir. B. Mashhoodi (PI), Dr. S. Halleck Vega, Prof. dr. M. Bakker, Prof.dr.ir. E. van Leeuwen (Wageningen University & Research), Dr. ir. G. Chandra Mouli, Prof. dr. ir. P. Bauer (TU Delft), Dr. L. Diestelmeier, Prof. mr. Dr. M. Roggenkamp (University of Groningen) (WUR).

Partners: Arcadis, Gemeente Groningen, Generation Energy, ESRI Netherlands, Gemeente Wageningen, Heliox, TRIP Advocaten, Aeres, ING Bank

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Blue Balance: Flexible Energy Communities: Coupling e-mobility and energy communities (Jun 2022 – Dec 2026)

Type of involvement: Work Package lead, (Co-)supervision of 2 PhD researchers

Funded by the Blauwe Cluster and VLAIO (Belgium).

This innovative project aims to increase public engagement and participation in the sustainable transition of the Flemish coastal region. BLUE BALANCE is set on developing a social license to operate for sustainable (economic) activities. The project focuses in particular on bringing residents and tourists of the Flemish coastal region into dialogue with local industrial stakeholders and policy makers.

Research team: Different groups of Ghent University, the Center for Persuasive Communication (CPEC) and the Historical Archaeology Research Group (HARG), HOWEST: Digital Arts and Entertainment (DAE), Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), Environmental Psychology University of Groningen. 

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TeSoPs: Technologically and Socially feasible transition Pathways for local energy system integration (Feb 2022 – Mar 2025)

Type of involvement: Principal Investigator, Work package lead, (co-)supervision of 1 postdoctoral researcher

Funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) ESI-far call.

Energy systems contain, combine and connect different energy carriers/grids (e.g., electricity, heat, gas), system components (e.g., technical, economic, social) and different grid levels (e.g., local, regional, national). Yet, most approaches to improve and optimise energy systems are strongly restricted in the number of aspects of energy systems they consider. Not accounting for these diverse aspects of energy systems likely results in suboptimal and unrealistic solutions, either from a technical, economic or social perspective.

TeSoPs proposes and employs an integrative energy system modelling approach that incorporates three key dimensions of integration, namely: 1) between energy grids/carriers, 2) between system components, and 3) between grid levels. To achieve this, TeSoPs will connect, combine and integrate state-of-the-art insights from Engineering, Economics and Business Science, and Social Sciences in an integrative framework, which we will translate in a full-system energy model that will be validated and advanced throughout the project’s duration. Importantly, our interdisciplinary and integrative approach enables us to uncover and investigate interactions, dependencies and integrations between energy carriers/grids, system components and grid levels that have been largely neglected by earlier – more unidimensional/disciplinary specific – research. Based on our models and research, we will assess how different transitions in the heating system (i.e., mainly focusing on reducing the dependency on gas) impact, interact and depend on the wider energy system. Specifically, we focus on how transitions in heat provision impact, interact and can be integrated with the electricity system (e.g., increased demand, storage capacity for electricity from renewables; reflecting the energy carrier/grid dimension of integration), various system components (e.g., pricing, business models, energy behaviours and user acceptability) and grid levels (e.g., interchange between different grid levels). From this, we will develop and design transition options and pathways for specific local energy systems that are technically, economically and socially feasible, and which optimally contribute to a sustainable, efficient, reliable and secure integrated energy system.

To support our research and integration, we will together with NLeSC develop a re-usable energy data coupling platform that connects, unifies and integrates data on different dimensions of ESI. This data will directly be incorporated in our models, and translated in control algorithms for optimal energy system management, resulting in tailor made solutions for local energy systems. This platform can be re-used by other projects and researchers, enabling further validation and integration (e.g., with other disciplines or domains, such as mobility). In addition, we will develop a decision support tool through which stakeholders and end-users can select and evaluate transition options and pathways, which empowers them to participate in decision making on sustainable ESI. Importantly, the proposed research builds on knowledge and insights from our past and ongoing EU and NWO-funded projects on smart energy systems and ESI (e.g., MERGE, ERSAS, ADAPNER, INTERFLEX, MAKING CITY, POCITYF, MatchIT, TOP-UP). TeSoPs will develop new methodologies, technologies and knowledge on how diverse aspects of integrated energy systems could optimally interact and align with each other, as to achieve key transition goals in a technologically, economically and socially feasible, acceptable and desirable way.

Research team: dr. Thijs Bouman (PI), Prof. dr. Linda Steg (Environmental Psychology, University of Groningen), Prof. dr. Jacquelien Scherpen, dr. Saeed Ahmed, dr. Michele Cucuzzella, dr. Juan Machado Martinez (ENgineering and TEchnology institute Groningen, Univerisity of Groningen), Richard Westerga, Joke Kort (TNO).

Partners: TNO, eScienceNL, Enexis, ING Bank, Powerchainger, De Groene Afslag, Gemeente Groningen.

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TOP-UP: TOP-down energy projects as catalysts for bottom-UP local energy initiatives (https://www.top-up.info/) (Dec 2019 – Sep 2023)

Type of involvement: Principal Investigator, Work package lead, (co-)supervision of 1 postdoctoral researcher

Funded by ERA-Net Regional Energy Systems (H2020) & the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

TOP-UP studies how TOP-down initiated heat networks can play a central role in integrated regional energy systems, and investigates how these top-down actions can empower bottom-UP participation among local actors and sectors, as to achieve the regions ambitious energy targets.

TOP-UP incorporates expertise in modelling, automation, social sciences and practice to optimize regional energy systems. It focuses on the integration of heat and electricity networks, and identifies and fosters optimal levels of local actor/sector participation. TOP-UP aims to satisfy actors/sectors needs and preferences, and to optimize regional energy system performance.

TOP-UP develops tailored solutions for the Groningen (NL) and Copenhagen (DK) energy systems – which prioritize changes to their heat networks due to unique regional challenges – and studies how these solutions can be scaled and customized to other regions, making best use of local renewables and reducing the dependency on fossil fuels.

Research team: dr. Thijs Bouman, Prof. dr. Linda Steg, Elliot Sharpe (PI, Environmental Psychology, University of Groningen), Prof. dr. Jacquelien Scherpen, dr. Michele Cucuzzella, dr. Juan Machado Martinez (ENgineering and TEchnology institute Groningen, Univerisity of Groningen), Prof. dr. Henrik Madsen, dr. Kenneth Leerbeck (Applied Mathematics, Technical University Denmark). 

Partners: Municipality of Groningen, PowerChainger, Buurkracht, Center Denmark, Høje Taastrup Municipality, Høje Taastrup District Heating

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ERSAS - Incentives and algorithms for efficient, reliable and socially acceptable energy system integration

Type of involvement: (Co-)supervision of 1 PhD researcher

Project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

This project aims to study how to develop efficient, reliable, sustainable and socially acceptable (decentralised) energy system integration (ESI) from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will examine how to synergise infrastructure for gas, electricity and heat, and how to promote efficient use of such energy system by end users. In the psychological sub-project, we will examine the acceptability and effects of financial and social incentives that aim to encourage end-users to match energy demand to the local fluctuating supply of various renewable energy sources, as to increase the efficient use of the local energy grid. We will study the conditions under which different incentives are effective, as well why different incentives are (not) effective. Researchers from the Engineering and Technology Institute at the University of Groningen will examine how to synergise and couple infrastructure for gas, electricity and heat, and develop control algorithms that enhance the efficiency, stability and sustainability of such integrated energy systems. Together, we will study how effective incentives can be integrated in the algorithms aimed to control integrated energy systems. Also, we will study which factors affect the willingness of users to accept and use the proposed integrated system functionalities. The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Research team: Prof. dr. Linda Steg, dr. Thijs Bouman, Stephanie Johnson Zawadzki (PI, Environmental Psychology, University of Groningen), prof. dr. Jacquelien Scherpen,  dr. Shuai Feng (ENgineering and TEchnology institute Groningen, Univerisity of Groningen). Private partners: Alliander, Enexis, and TNO.

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MERGE: Effective and acceptable energy management systems and user interfaces to match energy demand and supply

Type of involvement: (Co-)supervision of 1 PhD researcher

Project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

This project aims to develop an energy managing system and related user interface that can match demand and supply from various energy sources and that is likely to be adopted and properly employed by (potential) users. Future energy systems will integrate energy from various sources, that can be tailored to user preferences. To secure efficiency of the system, the system requires almost continuous decisions making. We will study the impact of user autonomy versus system automatisation in these decisions, as well as the effects of feedback to encourage energy conservation. We will collaborate with researchers from the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen, in order to design effective and acceptable user interfaces. The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Research team: prof. dr. Linda Steg, dr. Thijs Bouman, Nieke Lemmen (PI; Environmental Psychology, University of Groningen), prof. dr. Marco Aiello, Laura Fiorini, MSc (Distributed systems, University of Groningen & University of Stuttgart). Private partners: GasTerra b.v., Gemeente Groningen, Groninger Economy Service Company (Gresco), Provincie Groningen, Sustainable Buildings B.V.

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Finished projects:

MatchIT - Efficient demand and supply matching by incentivizing end-users in buildings (www.matchit.info)

Type of involvement: Principal Investigator/Main applicant, Postdoctoral researcher

Funded by ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems (H2020) & the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

The project aims to develop and test an interdisciplinary framework for a reliable, efficient, sustainable, and socially acceptable electricity grid with distributed generation and storage of energy. We develop control algorithms and an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platform coupled with automation to optimize matching of demand and supply that are acceptable to users in buildings. We examine which type of automation, and which financial and social incentives are acceptable and effective to promote demand-supply matching among users. The control algorithms combine the physics and communication constraints of the electricity grid with user incentives. The platform interfaces users with the grid, thereby considering their needs, indoor information, congestion, prices and control signals, to coordinate the energy consumption of buildings. We first evaluate our framework in living-lab settings, and then implement it in the Power Matching City, a futuristic field lab in the Netherlands. The project is funded by the European Research Area Network – Smart Grid Plus.

Research team: dr. Thijs Bouman, dr. Berfu Unal, prof. dr. Linda Steg (PI, Environmental Psychology, University of Groningen), prof. dr. Jacquelien Scherpen, dr. Michele Cucuzzella (ENgineering and TEchnology institute Groningen, Univerisity of Groningen), prof. dr. Marco Aiello, dr. Ilche Georgievski (Distributed Systems, University of Groningen), Carlo Fischione (Automatic Control group, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering, Stockholm).

Private partners: Metri and Watty

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BIGS - BeijIng Groningen Smart energy cities

Type of involvement: Postdoctoral researcher

The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Smart cities anticipate sustainable prosperity of their citizens. In order to accomplish this objective, the current development of cities is undergoing drastic technological shifts that need to be followed by innovative regulatory and behavioural changes with the final goal of increasing sustainability of cities. These changes require a strategy that integrates multiple disciplines and provides a comprehensive understanding and support from a psychological, technological and economic perspective. We propose an interdisciplinary framework that uses innovative and smart technologies to understand and promote sustainable use of energy and aid effective decisions by end-users. 

Research team: prof. dr. Marco Aiello, dr. Ilche Georgievski (Distributed Systems, University of Groningen), prof. dr. Linda Steg, dr. Thijs Bouman, dr. Berfu Ünal (Environmental Psychology, University of Groningen), prof. dr. Mei Bai, prof. dr. Pengfie Li, prof. dr. Dan Shi (PI), prof. dr. Xiaohua Xia, Yuting Li, Lei Wang (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Industrial Economics).

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EnergySense

Type of involvement: Postdoctoral researcher

Funded by Energy Academy Europe / University of Groningen

Research Advisor (European Commission Expert Contract) for the European Commission DG ENER’s group on project focusing on energy security in four European Union countries (Estonia, Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands). Research activities consist of assessing and understanding how much value (psychological and monetary) the European society (citizens, companies, energy companies) attaches to security of energy supplies. This understanding will be obtained by conducting specialized consumer surveys and will contribute to the implementation of the Energy Union Roadmap initiatives.

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European Commission research project on Societal Appreciation of Security of energy Supply (SASOS)

Type of involvement: Expert

Funded by European Commission 's Joint Research Center

Research Advisor (European Commission Expert Contract) for the European Commission DG ENER’s group on project focusing on energy security in four European Union countries (Estonia, Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands). Research activities consist of assessing and understanding how much value (psychological and monetary) the European society (citizens, companies, energy companies) attaches to security of energy supplies. This understanding will be obtained by conducting specialized consumer surveys and will contribute to the implementation of the Energy Union Roadmap initiatives.

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Feeding the City / Almere / The psychology behind healthy and sustainable choices

Type of involvement: Principal Investigator/Main applicant, Researcher

Funded by Municipality of Almere

Within this research project we investigate how citizens of Almere perceive issues related to health, sustainability and society. More specifically, we want to know more about the underpinnings of these perceptions and opinions, especially in relation to the 2022 Floriade organized by Almere with the theme “Go Greener”.

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PhD project: Local Globalism

Type of involvement: Principal Investigator/Main applicant, PhD Researcher

Funded by Univerisity of Groningen

The Ph.D. project concerns the influence of threatening global situations (e.g., Arab rebellions) on local relations (e.g., within the Netherlands). Specifically, we study how people perceive threats from far away outgroups, and how these perceptions of distant intergroup threats impact more local relations with for instance immigrants. We connect our research to current situations, such as the Arab spring, the expansion of the European Union, global terrorist threats, and the global economic downturn.

Last modified:24 June 2022 10.40 p.m.