SynErGame: Gamified Knowledge Building on Synchronizing Energy Supply and Energy Demand
Keywords:Climate Change, Demand-Side Flexibility, Serious Game
Climate change is one of humanity’s biggest challenges. With reference to power grids, there is a strong need for decarbonization alongside for a substantial increase in renewable energy generation. Keeping in mind that renewable energy sources are volatile – solar and wind power are heavily weather dependent – it is necessary to ensure the balance between power generation and power demand in the European power grid at all times. Significant deviations in grid frequency or bottlenecks could lead to a blackout. This raises the need for flexibility in the power grid substantially. An option so far relatively little explored is to make use of industrial demand-side flexibility. With a share in the power demand of about 45 per cent in Germany, industry could contribute significantly to power grid stability. While technologies for industrial demand-side flexibility have been comprehensively explored by the scientific community and (prototypically) implemented in industry, this knowledge has not spread to a broader audience. To foster knowledge on industrial demand-side flexibilization, we developed an approach using a serious game called SynErGame, synchronizing energy supply and demand. Within two game modes, one perspective macro-oriented and the other industry-oriented, a player learns about the benefits and challenges of using demand-side flexibility options to stabilize a power grid. The paper first introduces the topic of flexibilizing industrial power demand. Secondly, requirements are derived and the game design is outlined in detail. Thirdly, the paper shows how to make the game accessible via browser or app on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. During ongoing use, SynErGame has proven particularly effective for audiences inclined to digital technologies, such as students.