With over 1 billion people having little or no access to electricity across the globe, Ikea’s innovation lab, Space10, began to research how solar power could change people’s lives. With the help of Danish architect, SachsNottveit, Ikea have created a 1:50 scale model neighbourhood out of wood as a prototype to demonstrate how solar power in conjunction with block-chain technology can create an energy self-sufficient community.
Our climate is changing and with this advanced solar energy more people in western countries will be able to receive electricity to their homes. With a large multinational group like Ikea who provide good quality, reasonably priced products it is possible that solar panels may become easier accessible. Part of their plan to reduce the cost of energy which would happen as with a blockchain platform there wouldn’t be a company in the middle. This Copenhagen based group want to make better and more sustainable ways of living for people who cannot already access electricity easily.
The design facilitates the neighbourhood with the ability to sell or purchase excess energy from one another. Blockchain technology allows for this feature to be possible, whilst the Houses are fitted with solar panels and are all hardwired together thus creating a closed microgrid. The Technical Project Manager at Blockchains Lab for open calibration believes that, “The Solar Ville project demonstrates how frontier technologies, such as remote sensors and distributed ledger systems, can be utilized to develop a transaction network that enables self-sufficient monitoring and optimization of distributed energy resources in a localized network setting.”
The small village is currently in the Space10’s Gallery in Copenhagen until March and is then planned to go on a global tour. You will be able to see the energy as the designers have included some LED lights that light whenever energy is moving from place to place. You will also be able to look underneath the hood and see how the energy is stored and shared between the neighbourhood.