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Phil Grünewald

Engineer/Energy Researcher

I am an engineer at heart. This started when I was a little boy and would take everything to bits, from telephones to cars – rarely did those things come together again. During my studies I learnt how to be a bit more constructive and build laser processing machines – you can have a lot of fun with lasers, drilling holes or making super small structures, like the circuitry on microchips.

Now I try to speed up our transition to net-zero carbon by studying our use of energy. My first degree is Business-Engineering and I developed laser processes to make solar PV panels cheaper. This was back in the days when they were said to be ‘too expensive’. Costs have fallen dramatically, and I turned my focus to storage (also said to be ‘too expensive’ at the time). My latest obsession is to understand the other side of the system: demand. Can demand undergo changes similar to those observed for these technologies? Guess what, the majority view is that this would be ‘too expensive’. I disagree, but for significant improvements we need much better data on what our energy demand is, what the energy is used for, and whether there are better ways to deliver the same energy service with much less energy or at a better time (times when renewables are giving us plenty of energy). We collect such data with our JoyMeter app.

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