Signals Of change: Can our grids behave like living systems?

Sensemaking / Signals Of change: Can our grids behave like living systems?

These signals show how smart our environments are becoming. Can they help connect our energy needs with the healthy lives we want to lead?

By Anna Simpson / 08 Apr 2016

For smart and distributed energy systems to give us the control and freedom they promise, they need to fit in seamlessly with our lifestyles. This means getting right down to details such as the design of the spaces around us, or how we access essential services like banking, or how we plan our social lives.

What challenges and opportunities to do you see in these flashes of future energy systems?

[#signalofchange 1] Mobile phone payments revolutionise energy access in Kenya

A Nairobi-based company is offering affordable energy to rural off-grid communities by enabling customers to pre-pay for power with their mobile phones. More here.

Image credit: SteamaCo

[#signalofchange 2] Wind farms that learn, adapt and evolve

The future of wind power will be 'digital windfarms' that harness big data to learn and adapt in real time, optimising their power output and lifetime efficiency. So says General Electric which launched its 'Digital Windfarm' concept as the next evolution in wind energy in May of this year. More here.

Image credit: GE Power and Water

[#signalofchange 3] Google helps homeowners decide whether rooftop slar makes sense

Climate-conscious homeowners will have probably asked themselves these questions: should I install solar panels on my roof? Will it be worth the investment? How long would I have to wait before I see the return? Project Sunroof, Google’s newly launched online tool, aims to help homeowners explore the idea of installing solar panels by using Google Maps 3D modelling information. More here.

Image credit: Ars Electronica / Flickr

Tell us what you think in the comments box or join the discussion on social media with #SignalsOfChange.

Header art by Rachel Pimm

What might the implications of this be? What related articles have you seen?

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