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Title: Domestic photovoltaic systems : the governance of inhabitant practice in low carbon housing communities
Author: Frances, Ziyad Jameel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 2768
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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Housing accounts for one-third of all CO2 emissions in the Western world, yet there is still limited understanding of why housing routinely uses more energy than predicted, resulting in a significant performance gap. Successful energy governance for housing is therefore crucial for cutting CO2 emissions and preventing catastrophic climate change. Addressing these challenges in the UK is largely shaped by developing 'more efficient' domestic technologies, which assumes that inhabitants will use their technologies as intended. Conversely, this thesis examines the variation in the governance of Photovoltaic (PV) system provisioning processes and how this conditions inhabitants' practices - a key area overlooked in previous energy efficiency studies concerning PV systems. This thesis focuses on empirical work drawing on three theories: Actor Network Theory (ANT), Practice theory, and Affordance that are brought in pragmatically as lenses to enable a more comprehensive examination and analysis of different aspects of the overall networks and practices and associated governance involved in a PV system. The findings show that key provisioning actors understand the PV production process as a 'black box', where the outputs are unquestioningly anticipated from the inputs. This results in an inappropriate governance network and integration between these actors when governing technology affordances and integration into homes. Opening up this provisioning 'black box' suggests two key approaches for developing appropriate energy governance networks and practices: identifying changes required within actors' agency and roles, and identifying changes required in the relationships between the actors in a contractual network. Both changes require new actors to be involved in PV provisioning networks subject to wider networks and arrangements in the UK. The findings also show that good governance requires an examination of home technology practices in more detail, in their specific context, and taking inhabitant's embodied competences and meanings into account, in order to properly anticipate how these designed technologies will operate in reality.
Supervisor: Stevenson, Fionn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available