Even the most ardent of renewable energy boosters know that solving a region's power woes is more complicated than just placing wind farms and solar PV plants around the area, and coming up with sustainable and stable power systems can be quite complex.
Let's face it, most of us have little to no clue about how electricity gets from the source to our outlets, other than the obvious power lines overhead, but in order to work together for a clean energy future, we might need to learn more about energy sources, infrastructure, the energy market, and technological or economical constraints on power grids.
And that's where this new online game from Siemens Energy comes in.
In Power Matrix, you're put in the hot seat as an energy manager responsible for creating a stable and sustainable power grid that uses an intelligent mix of power sources, including traditional power generation as well as renewable energies such as solar and wind power.
Users have to stay within budget while powering their virtual city, adding energy assets and investing in energy R&D at the same time, and if they're successful in managing the power system sustainably, their city will grow wealthier (and they will collect points toward the global leaderboard rankings).
"Power Matrix explains the correlations and processes of the individual variables involved in energy economics with the help of simulation and strategy games that have universal appeal, i.e. not only on the gaming scene. The online game is based on an idealized and simplified view of reality and was developed in collaboration with experts from the fields of gaming, corporate strategy and engineering. The game provides general descriptions of technologies and technical possibilities for products and solutions in the field of energy economics." - Siemens
And lest the thought of playing a game puts you off from trying out Power Matrix, the game is not intended just for energy experts and gamers, but is really geared toward educating the general public about the interactions between different types of grids and power sources, as well as the rules and mechanisms of the modern energy market.
"Today's power generation and distribution depend on a large number of immediately interdependent variables. We wanted to create an easy-to-understand game that portrays the energy market of the future and that can also get across a complex issue in a transparent and easily intelligible manner." - Jan-Peter Schwartz, Corporate Vice President of Communications at Siemens Energy
Go ahead. Build a sustainably-powered city at Power Matrix.