[Financial Times] ‘Mini-grid’ household energy sharing begins to take off

Network of 20,000 German homes selling to each other shows new distribution model

Energy companies are facing an uncomfortable truth: one day not all households will require their services. Some people have been generating their own energy, instead of tapping into a national power grid, for decades.

Early-adopters included former US president Jimmy Carter, who in 1979 had 32 solar panels installed at the White House. “No one can ever embargo the sun or interrupt its delivery to us,” he declared, referring to the Arab oil embargo earlier in the decade. But self-generated power has been held back by high costs and inefficient technology: panels of the type Mr Carter used are now mostly to be found in museums.

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