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Faculty of Engineering
UNB Fredericton

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Energy Transformation Innovation

The Energy Transformation Innovation research group at the University of New Brunswick, in partnership with Siemens Canada and NB Power, is looking at solutions that electrical utilities need and the new business models that will allow them to survive and thrive.

Changing the way we look at power

The ways in which we consume and generate power are changing; new and innovative solutions are needed. Electrical utilities are looking for new energy technologies, high-efficiency and low-emissions answers that have a much better understanding of the consumers’ needs and wants.

We see an energy-driven future that has human-centered designed products and services that create an environmentally friendly world — with a very low carbon footprint.

Understanding the consumer

New solutions need to be developed in the energy sector as its landscape transforms and changes. The Energy Transformation Innovation research group is working on recognizing a different type of energy consumer in order to adapt and personalize consumer power relationships. It is important that communities from science, engineering, business, governments, media and end-users come together in a collaborative way to meet the significant energy challenges of the future.

The way we live our lives isn’t the same as it was 50 years ago. We need to be prepared to accommodate changes such as the development of smart cities, smart grid, micro-grids, smart homes and smart communities.

Our Research

The remote communities of Atlantic Canada continue have limited access to clean energy sources and issues over energy security. Major electric utilities in Atlantic Canada have proposed a variety of programs to address the energy security problem in the rural and remote communities of Canada. It’s important to examine the effect of these programs on the sustainability and energy security concerns of the rural and remote communities of Atlantic Canada. So, the project aims to (1) To understand the role of electric utilities in facilitating sustainable energy security in the rural and remote communities of Atlantic Canada through collaborations with locally owned renewable energy small-scale projects. (2) To understand the dependencies between major electric utility enterprises and Locally Owned Renewable Energy Small-Scale (LORESS) projects in Atlantic Canada. (3) To explore the long-term sustainability effects of the collaborations between major electric utilities and LORESS projects. (4) To understand the challenges in generating, distributing, and transmitting renewable energy through the collaborations between major electric utilities and LORESS projects in Atlantic Canada.


Project director: Dhirendra Shukla
Juhi Raghuvanshi

Project Contact:
Dhirendra Shukla

Energy Utilities are now envisioning a future where their role could change from that of energy producers and distributers to that of a comprehensive security and control system that enables the free and fair exchange of energy. The innovative new products and services are spurring changes in customer behaviors and societal mores. For example, most customers today are aware of the need to switch to a more energy efficient means of transportation as the Electric Vehicle. Similarly, societies are increasingly concerned about the environmental impacts of new energy products. Therefore, tomorrow’s energy Utilities will have to develop systems that consistently factor a variety of stakeholder opinions. So, the project aims to develop a framework to value and measure the societal acceptances and rejections associated with technological transformations in the energy Utility sector. Specifically, we aim to understand the societal responses associated with technological changes in Energy Utilities and develop frameworks to measure and value each of the identified societal responses.

Project director: Dhirendra Shukla
Sushil Chaurasia

Project Contact:
Dhirendra Shukla


1. Venugopal, A., & Shukla, D. (2019). Between hesitation and decisiveness—Understanding consumers' ego, altruism, and eagerness to pay for renewable energy. Sustainable Development, 27(5), 932-944. doi:10.1002/sd.1955
2. Venugopal, A., & Shukla, D. (2019). Identifying consumers' engagement with renewable energy. Business Strategy and the Environment, 28(1), 53-63. doi:10.1002/bse.2185
3. Yevdokimov, Y., Getalo, V., Shukla, D., & Sahin, T. (2019). Measuring willingness to pay for electricity: The case of new brunswick in atlantic canada. Energy and Environment, 30(2), 292-303. doi:10.1177/0958305X18790954

Conference Proceedings
1. Aparna Venugopal and Dhirendra Shukla, 2018: The role of consumers' altruistic and egoistic values in determining renewable energy adoption. Proceedings, 2018,
2. Aparna Venugopal and Dhirendra Shukla, 2018: Moral disengagement of energy consumers in their willingness to pay for renewable energy. Proceedings, 2018,
3. Sushil S. Chaurasia, Dhirendra Shukla, Manoj Motiani, and Kapil Khandeparkar, 2021: Intimate Co-creation of Value for Sustainability: The Nature, Measurement and Nomological Network. Proceedings, 2021,

The power balance between centralized utilities and energy end users is shifting due to the introduction of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) and the ICT’s integration in the grid operation. Specifically, the blockchain is identified as an emerging technology and a promising solution to enable the decentralized energy market and peer-focused business models. Moreover, the purchasing behavior of the different energy consumer segments are governed by a variety of different consumer values. So, it’s important to understand how blockchain can drive the energy revolution for the development of new digital business models for electric utility sector and contribute to the transformation of the energy system. The research explores the transition in power utilities with disruptive technologies and how it can be better managed with innovations in their business models. The project aims to understand the technological disruptions (specifically blockchain) in power utilities and suggest ways in which electric utility firms can innovate their business models to better satisfy the different energy consumer segments.

Visit our Blockchain Research page.

Project director: Dhirendra Shukla
Sushil Chaurasia
Gray Wolf Analytics

Project Contact:
Dhirendra Shukla

Who we are


Dr. Dhirendra Shukla, principal investigator
Dr. Chris Diduch, supervisor
Dr. Yuri Yevdokimov, supervisor

Post-doctoral fellows

Dr. Sushil S. Chaurasia
Dr. Juhi Raghuvanshi

Additional Articles

Contact us

Dr. Dhirendra Shukla, PEng.
Professor & chair
Dr. J. Herbert Smith/ACOA
Technology Management & Entrepreneurship Program
University of New Brunswick
17 Dineen Drive, Rm. H225, Old Head Hall
Fredericton, N.B. Canada
E3B 5A3