Trade your solar power with your neighbours: the promise of peer–to peer energy trading networks

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Peer–to–peer energy trading networks, across which people can trade self–produced renewable energy, are generating much excitement and have been described as ‘game–changers’ to incumbent energy markets.  Among the numerous benefits for the so-called ‘prosumers’, actively trading energy in real time reduces the uncertainty associated with renewable energy generation and contributes to a sustainable balance of production and consumption […]

What does it mean to be a ‘smart citizen’?

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In their recent publication, de Waal and Dignum explore the role of citizens in various conceptions of ‘the smart city’.  While the dominant discourse surrounding smart cities has been notably ‘techno–centric and top-down’, there has recently been an observed shift towards a new paradigm of ‘bottom-up’ smart city initiatives, harnessing citizens to create and use smart services.  In particular, de […]

How your data can save you money and time, while benefiting your city

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Waze, the world’s largest navigation app, uses real time crowdsourced traffic data to calculate the most time, and fuel, efficient driving routes for its users.  But these data are now having a powerful impact on city infrastructure.  In her recent talk, Waze’s Thais Blumenthal de Moraes outlines the Waze Connected Citizens Program.  Currently over 250 cities worldwide partake in this free data exchange […]

Using artificial intelligence to tackle Earth’s sustainability challenges

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‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’ was the theme of the 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January this year.  One noteworthy publication to come from this meeting explored ‘game changing’ ways in which the power of artificial intelligence (AI) can be harnessed in response to current pressing environmental issues.  The selected AI game […]

Recognising the importance of high impact, individual actions for reducing carbon emissions

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The 8th most shared climate change research paper of 2017 addressed the potential role of high impact, individual actions for the reduction of GHG emissions, according to a list published this week by The Carbon Brief.  The authors argue for official recommendations to shift their focus from ‘incremental behaviour changes that require minimal effort’, to ‘high impact actions’.  While […]