What can we learn about energy use from activity patterns during a lockdown?

Dr Philipp Grünewald

Dr Philipp Grünewald
Dr Philipp Grünewald

Rapid and radical societal change is possible – the response to COVID-19 has proven that. Can lessons be learned for responses tothe climate emergency?

Energy is only an intermediate good that becomes useful by turning it into an energy service. When usage patterns change, due to severe weather events, changes in price, uptake of new technologies or practices, or indeed during a national lockdown, we can glance atimportant insights into the role of energy in our lives.

Phil collects data on electricity use and household activities to understand this relationship. He will present findings on the diversity in use during ‘normal’ and unusual times.


Dr Philipp Grünewald used to be a ‘proper engineer’ developing laser processing tools for the manufacture of thin film photovoltaic panels. Prior to this he was part of a small team developing the world’s first commercial Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) micro stepper forIntel (these tools are early prototypes for future production tools as required to meet the ambitious roadmaps in the semiconductor industry).

Phil’s complete lack of disciplinarity is supported by his degree in Business-Engineering from Wedel (Germany), an MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures from Imperial College and an interdisciplinary scholarship for his PhD fromthe UK Energy Research Centre

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