27 Feb 2018
The dramatic fall in the price of offshore wind power underlines how the world is undergoing an energy revolution. Meanwhile, energy grids are becoming smart and responsive, nuclear power is changing fast, and households can store more energy than ever before, placing them in more control.
In this future of energy special edition of Modus, we explore the impact of this revolution on the built environment across a series of reports, including:
The smart grid: Existing energy grids are inherently ‘dumb’, designed with the needs of the 20th century in mind. A smart grid, in contrast, responds intelligently and flexibly to demand in real time. We take a look at the technology to see how it works, the benefits it may deliver and the challenges that lie ahead.
Offshore wind: For the first time ever, off-shore wind power is cheaper per kWh than nuclear, and is starting to look less like the stuff of ethical investment and more a way to take a slice of the mainstream energy market. How does the sector scale up and, crucially for a sector governed by the weather, become a dependable provider of electricity?
Home storage: A new wave of household batteries are making it possible for homeowners to store cheap electricity for use later on, or harvest their own renewable energy. What promise does this technology have, and how could it affect housing development?
And finally: Small nuclear reactors (SNR) might generate only a tenth of what the British government is building at Hinkley Point, but they are much cheaper to build, and because of their small size they can be positioned near towns as part of a more efficient, decentralised grid. But would you want one at the end of your road?
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