Kathryn Lucas-Healey

Date: Tuesday, 28 June, 2022

Time: 2 – 3pm

Forum: Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program online seminar

Speaker: Dr Kathryn Lucas-Healey, Research Fellow, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program

Location: Zoom

Contact: Sarah Wilson, Communications Manager, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program

Watch the recording here.

This talk will centre on a new paper, jointly authored by Kat and BSGIP colleagues and soon to be published in a special edition of Buildings and Cities journal, about gender and new energy technologies. This paper extends an emerging overlap that exists in studies of repair and maintenance of material objects from Science and Technology studies and an increasing interest in the creation and maintenance of relationships of care in energy systems.

Inspiration for the paper came from Feminist Science and Technology Studies work that calls attention to the continuous labour of repair and maintenance necessary to enact and sustain a socio-technical order. Our fieldwork involved virtual interviews and small focus groups with 55 Australian householders who purchased decentralised energy technologies (solar, batteries, and EVs) and 18 intermediaries from industry and civil society.

Our analysis sheds light on how invisible care practices not only underpin householders’ material engagement with the energy system, but also how they are inextricably entangled with making a decentralised energy ‘order’ work in practice. The paper draws on Fisher and Tronto’s phases of care and care abilities to reveal all the different care practices and care gaps that underpin the decentralised energy order. Relying on ‘good hearted’ intermediaries is unlikely to be a workable basis for a functioning and fair energy system. We conclude by suggesting an alternative approach; a call for us to explore what a caring decentralised energy system might look like.


  • 5 min welcome and introduction
  • 30 min presentation 
  • 15 min Q&A moderated by Dr Wendy Russell, Research Fellow, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program

About the speaker

Kat is an interdisciplinary researcher based in Melbourne with 15 years of experience spanning all manner of energy-related things. She has a PhD in architectural science from the University of Queensland which spawned from work as a sustainability consultant in the building and construction industry. Kat’s policy experience includes reforming the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme and working towards better energy efficiency standards for housing. More recently, she was responsible for delivering Chargefox’s ultra-rapid EV charging network in WA, SA and Victoria.

Kat delivered the social science stream of the Realising Electric Vehicle-to-grid Services (REVS) project, and is now working on the Southcoast Microgrid Reliability Feasibility (SµRF) project.