Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

Breaking silos, nudging communities: The SITE4Society adventure
UNU-MERIT's Site4Society (S4S) aims to foster home-grown social innovation. It starts from the premise that knowledge need not be cold or aloof, but can in fact serve various social challenges. In the case of S4S, we address the clear lack of networks between academics from different disciplines and between social scientists and the rest of the world ? on the SDGs in particular. So the main aim is to break open silos and start unconventional conversations through interactive workshops.

For our second S4S event held last week we hosted speakers from across the local innovation system, including Brightlands (an institution supported by the Limburg government to nurture start-ups), (getting to be a start-up), DSM corporate sustainability division (a Dutch multinational present in 50 countries), GoodGood (a social enterprise), LOCOtuinen (a cooperative), Bandito Espresso (a social enterprise) and Maastricht University (an academic institution!). Find out more about this initiative by clicking the link below.

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  • The world's biggest 'virtual power plant' developed in Australia
    Elon Musk's company, Tesla, is working with the South Australian government to turn 50,000 homes into what they're calling a 'virtual power plant'.

    Each home in the project will be equipped with a 5kW solar panel system and a 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2, at no cost to the resident and funded entirely by the sale of excess electricity. These houses will become an interconnected power plant network.

    Musk has already made quite an impact on the state after he installed the world's largest lithium ion battery there last year. At 100 megawatts when fully charged, the Tesla Powerpack provides enough power for 8,000 homes for 24 hours, or 30,000 homes for an hour, in the event of a power failure.

    The virtual power plant is not just for emergency situations, but for regular, day-to-day power requirements as the state seeks to move away from fossil fuels and into more sustainable electricity.

    The trial, across 1,100 public housing properties, has already commenced. Systems are ready to be installed at a further 24,000 public housing properties, after which the program will be opened to all households in South Australia. Participation will, the government estimated, lower energy bills by 30%.

    Across 50,000 homes, the virtual power plant will have 250 megawatts of solar energy, and battery storage of 650 megawatts.

    Science Alert    February 05, 2018