“The G.E. machines will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. A single one will be able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light up a town of roughly 12,000 homes.” This is interesting for a number of reasons, not least the sheer scale meaning it covers district-level energy needs—if it’s combined with energy efficiency measures. The simplest way to a zero-carbon future involves shifting our wasteful habits; yet it’s seen as the hardest thing, from a policy or commercial perspective. That is a little cowardly. After Fukushima, the relevant Japanese prefectures managed to reduce demand significantly through simple energy saving measures (“setsudan”), unlocking a far more diverse energy future. Why no mention of shifting energy behaviours, alongside these supply-side switches? (Also interesting: the numbers of European firms, and manufacturing capabilities, listed — a significant advantage.)

Designer, urbanist, etc. Director of Strategic Design at Vinnova, Swedish govt’s innovation agency. Visiting prof UCL Bartlett IIPP + Design Academy Eindhoven

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