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Putting the people first

People and communities must be at the heart of how we store and use power

By Rebecca Willis  

Power to the people: recognising climate change as a social challenge means giving people an active role in our energy system. © Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

If I asked you to picture the future of the electricity system, what would you see? Rows of solar panels? Offshore wind farms? Both are part of the story, but these are only the most visible indications of a fundamental transformation in how we generate and use electricity. ICT-enabled products and services are changing the way the system works, allowing real-time control of supply and demand, and linking individual devices and households to the grid. This is a gamechanger. Together with better storage, it allows us to smooth over the peaks and troughs of supply and demand, and become…

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