Dr Phil Grunewald

Jackson Junior Research Fellow in Energy
FICE, PhD, MSc, Dipl-Eng (FH)

I am a Jackson Junior Research Fellow in Energy at Oriel, and although I have no formal teaching role, I enjoy sharing my research where ever there is an opportunity.

I have taught on MSc and MBA programmes at Warwick, Loughborough, Imperial, Reading and Oxford, covering energy systems, storage, demand, economics and policy. Posts and achievements to date include:

  • 2015 – 2020: EPSRC Fellow (SoGE, Oxford), 5 year Early Career Fellowship on Measuring and Evaluating Time-use and Electricity-use Relationships (METER)
  • 2013 – 2015: Deputy Director of Energy Research (Oxford), assisted Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith in the creation of the Oxford Energy Network
  • 2009 – 2013:  PhD in Energy Storage (Imperial)
  • 2008 – 2009: MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures (Imperial)
  • 2005 – 2008: Led manufacture of laser processing tools for the photo-voltaic industry (Oerlikon)
  • 2002 – 2005: Developed and built Intel’s first Extreme Ultra-Violet (13nm) Micro-stepper
  • 2001 – 2002: Cycled around the world
  • 2000 – 2004: Marie Curie Fellow (Exitech) – laser processing
  • 1996 – 1999: Business-Engineering degree (Wedel, Germany)
Research interests

I lead the Flexibility Theme in the Lower Carbon Futures Group (Environmental Change Institute, SoGE).

Flexibility (you would expect me to say this) is vital for the operation of electricity systems. Flexibility is needed for supply to follow the ever changing demand for electricity. Every morning the system operator has to ensure that supply can ramp up fast enough. In the early evening, when our demand tends to reach its peak, sufficient capacity must be on stand-by to ensure the lights stay on.

However, this model is about to be turned upside down. Solar photo-voltaics and wind energy have fallen in cost so dramatically in recent years. They begin to displace conventional power stations and with them the valuable ability to ramp up and down with demand. Renewables not only displace flexible sources, they further add to the variability in the system. New forms of flexibility are therefore urgently needed.

Two promising candidates are storage and demand response. I conducted whole system research on the role for storage. A key finding was that despite its cost, future overall system costs can be greatly reduced, even at modest storage efficiencies. However, the extent and type of storage required is very sensitive to the other option: demand response. If we were the change the timing of our electricity use, billions of pounds could be saved. But is that realistic?

My current study explores what we do with electricity in the first place, and asks how the timing could be changed through appropriate interventions. See energy-use.org.

Selected publications

P. Grünewald. Model for a fairer distribution. Nature Energy, 2(17130), 2017.

N. Eyre, S. J. Darby, P. Grünewald, E. McKenna, and R. Ford. Reaching a 1.5c target: Socio-technical challenges for a rapid transition to low carbon electricity systems. The Royal Society. Philosophical Transactions A., 2017.

P. Grünewald, M. Diakonova, D. Zilli, J. Bernard, and A. Matousek. What we do matters – a time-use app to capture energy relevant activities. eceee 2017 Summer Study Proceedings, pages 2085–2093, 2017.

E. McKenna, S. Higginson, P. Grünewald, and S. J. Darby. Simulating residential demand response: Improving socio-technical assumptions in activity-based models of energy demand. Energy Efficiency, pages 1–15, 2017.

J. L. Ramírez-Mendiola, P. Grünewald, and N. Eyre. The diversity of residential electricity demand-a comparative analysis of metered and simulated data. Energy and Buildings, 2017.

P. Grünewald. Flexibility in supply and demand. DEMAND Centre Conference, Lancaster, 13-15 April 2016.

P. Grünewald, J. L. R. Mendiola, and K. Lane. Residential demand modelling – time to get flexible. BEHAVE 2016 4th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency Coimbra, 8-9 September 2016, 2016.

P. Grünewald. Storage - what could possibly go wrong? BIEE conference, 21-22 September 2016, Oxford, 2016.

P. Grünewald and R. Layberry. Measuring the relationship between time-use and electricity consumption. eceee 2015 Summer Study Proceedings, pages 2087 – 2096, 2015.

P. E. Dodds, I. Staffell, A. D. Hawkes, F. Li, P. Grünewald, W. McDowall, and P. Ekins. Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for heating: A review. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2015.

P. Grünewald, J. Hamilton, R. Mayne, and B. Kock. How communities generate and distribute value - an analytical business model framework for energy initiatives. Behave2014, Oxford, 2014.

P. Grünewald and A. Hawkes. (2014) The role of hydrogen and fuel cells in providing affordable, secure low-carbon heat., chapter 6: Residential fuel cell micro-CHP case studies. H2FC SUPERGEN, London, UK., 2014.

P. Grünewald, E. McKenna, and M. Thomson. Keep it simple: time-of-use tariffs in high-wind scenarios. IET Renewable Power Generation, doi: 10.1049/iet-rpg.2014.0031, 2014.

P. Grünewald and J. Torriti. Any response? how demand response could be enhanced based on early UK experience. 11th International Conference on the European Energy Market EEM14, 2014.

E. McKenna, P. Grünewald, and M. Thomson. Going with the wind: temporal characteristics of potential wind curtailment in ireland in 2020 and opportunities for demand response. IET Renewable Power Generation, pages 1–12, 2014.

P. Grünewald and J. Torriti. Demand response from the non-domestic sector: early UK experiences and future opportunities. Energy Policy, 61(0):423–429, 2013.

P. H. Grünewald, T. T. Cockerill, M. Contestabile, and P. J. Pearson. The socio-technical transition of distributed electricity storage into future networks — system value and stakeholder views. Energy Policy, 50(0):449 – 457, 2012. Special Section: Past and Prospective Energy Transitions - Insights from History.

P. Grünewald, T. Cockerill, M. Contestabile, and P. Pearson. The role of large scale storage in a GB low carbon energy future: Issues and policy challenges. Energy Policy, 39(9):4807–4815, 9 2011.