Smart grid prioritisation will reduce emissions
As well as improving performance, reliability and controllability, moving to a smarter grid will reduce emissions by allowing greater integration of renewables and more efficient use of the energy they produce, integration of smart vehicles which can act as storage devices to reduce transmission losses and promote cleaner transport and the introduction of demand response mechanisms to reduce demand.
A plan for the future with stepping stones to get there
While there will be new cities created from scratch e.g. Masdar, most Smart Green Cities will evolve from those that already exist. Their transformation will require a stepped approach with consideration for the built environment and societal structures that already exist. While long-term planning is crucial, it must include identification and prioritisation of the steps which need to be taken from now to the future to realised success. There are many cities already with real projects underway in this respect.
Extreme weather events will increase so plan for them
Both climatologists and analysis suggest that the volume of extreme weather events will increase and so cities will have to be resilient to them. Their high population density and reliance on infrastructure, and energy infrastructure in particular, mean that serious disruption could have a large impact very quickly. Increasing a city’s resilience requires understanding the risks associated with events, in order to adapt infrastructure to mitigate them.
Communication and collaboration are key
Achieving a Smart Green City requires significant collaboration across all stakeholders. End-users of services must buy-in to concepts for a successful outcome. Service providers will need a shared focus on the broader (rather than their own) opportunity and be able to speak in layman’s terms. New, innovative technology will need to be open source for easy connectivity to other systems and providers will need to prove it is robust. While each city’s approach will be slightly different, national and global collaboration are vital to develop standards and best practice.