IKEA’s research lab presents a project for the production of energy that is renewable and democratic.

A miniature village prototype to enable citizens in becoming makers and traders of clean energy.

SPACE10, SolarVille, 2019

We live in a system where the distribution of energy is centralised and in which a few big companies produce electricity and distribute it to their network of users.

“Centralised energy systems are often too slow and economically inadequate to reach the billions of people who remain locked in energy poverty.” says Bas Van De Poel, creative director of SPACE10, IKEA’s research and design lab in Copenhagen. SPACE10 has designed a new system of sustainable production and redistribution of energy, inspired by the principle of “democratization of energy”.

The SolarVille project represents an ambitious – but absolutely feasible – vision for the immediate future: in order to test it, the Danish architectural firm SachsNottveit has designed a miniature village prototype.

Some of the houses in the village produce their own energy through a system of solar panels capable of capturing the rays of an artificial sun, allowing families in the community to buy electricity in excess from their neighbours, through a peer-to-peer exchange network between different houses.

These exchanges are displayed through LED lights incorporated in the model, showing that everything seems to work perfectly, thus ensuring energy savings and absolute sustainability. The next step will be to move on from a 1:50 scale model to real life, in the hope that this will soon become a new energy system.

Solar powered neighborhood
SPACE10 (Ikea’s research lab), BLOC, Blocktech, WeMoveIdeas India and architecture practice SachsNottveit

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