Interdisciplinary Program Office (IPO) Sustainability Seminar Series Spring 2022 - Building data trust with and for smart energy communities in Hong Kong

4:30pm - 6:00pm
Online via Zoom

Achieving carbon neutral goals requires the rapid decarbonisation, digitalisation, and decentralisation of our increasingly interconnected energy systems around the world. In light of the new possibilities offered by big-data-driven smart grid technological developments, most notably smart meters, the importance of engaging households in energy saving, shifting demand to off-peak time, and producing renewable electricity for their own use has attracted growing attention worldwide. However, existing government policies and economic incentives are not sufficient to foster household energy behavioural changes at scale. Socio-cultural factors, in particular public distrust in smart energy data, appear to be a key barrier that holds households back from adopting more environmentally friendly energy behaviours.

In this seminar, I will explore the opportunities and challenges of smart energy transitions in Hong Kong from a data trust perspective. Based on the findings of several completed projects and some preliminary observations from a three-year on-going Research Impact Fund project, I will explore the principles and guiding mechanisms to govern the collection, processing, accessing, sharing, and utilisation of smart energy data, focusing on community-based household energy data in relation to electricity consumption and solar electricity generation.

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
Dr. Daphne Mah
Hong Kong Baptist University

Dr. Daphne Mah is Director of Asian Energy Studies Centre, and Associate Professor at Department of Geography at Hong Kong Baptist University. She holds a BA degree in journalism and communication from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a MSc degree in Environmental Management from the University of Nottingham in the UK, and a PhD degree in energy from the University of Hong Kong.

Her research focuses on social aspects of smart energy transitions, specialising in interdisciplinary research that cuts across the fields of energy technologies (smart grids, solar power, wind energy, nuclear power, and building energy efficiency), energy governance, and sustainability policy studies, with a geographical focus on East Asia covering empirical cases in China, South Korea, and Japan.

Dr. Mah is the recipient of various competitive research and teaching grants. Since 2010, she has been the principal investigator of 29 projects, including a HK$4 million Research Grant Council’s Research Impact Fund for a study on smart low-carbon communities, amounting to HK$~9 million (~1.2 million USD). She has published widely in top-tier journals including Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Energy Research & Social Science, Energy Policy, Geoforum, Journal of Cleaner Production, and Environmental and Planning C. She is a co-founding editor of Journal of Asian Energy Studies, and the founding convener of the Asian Low-carbon Universities-cities Network (ALUN) and Hong Kong Solar Partnership.

Dr. Mah was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for her studies in the UK. She is a recipient of Faculty/School/Academy of Visual Arts Performance Award in Scholarly Work for the Faculty of Social Sciences (2022) and Faculty Award for Early Career Academic (Research) (2014). Before pursuing her academic career, she was a journalist in Ming Pao Daily News, and the head of the campaigns team of Friends of the Earth (Hong Kong).

Recommended For
Faculty and staff
General public
PG students
UG students
Division of Environment and Sustainability
Division of Public Policy
Interdisciplinary Programs Office
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