Smart energy is the significant ingredient in smart cities enabling efficient use of energy.
Today, plans for smart cities are at top of every government’s growth agendas. From smart lighting and electric vehicle integration to charging and Wi-Fi hubs across cities, all are the essential ingredients of a smart city. Considered as the future concept, smart cities have started taking shape in reality with the help of wildly ground-breaking IoT solutions. Many municipal governments are leveraging cellular and Low Power Wide Area (LPWAN) wireless technologies to connect and advance infrastructure, efficiency, convenience, and quality of life for residents and tourists alike.
Among all the possible things that play a crucial role in modernizing cities in today’s ever-growing population, smart energy is also an indispensable component. Making an efficient energy transition involves smarter and effective ways to use energy that help create better public services. Also, it generates economic and social well-being in a sustainable way.
Eric Morel, a recognized expert in energy transition and digitalization, identifies some crucial energy action plans essential in smart cities.
Commercial Buildings Energy Plan: The commercial building energy plan refers to a complement to the building renovation plan. The stakes on these buildings go far beyond simple thermal performance. Each building can be a power generation unit. Based on the geography of the city, it is essential to transform each building into a power generation unit, by hosting photovoltaic solar panels, for example.
Industry Energy Plan: The industry is an energy-intensive business. So, without an industry energy plan, we cannot imagine effective energy action plans in smart cities. The key objective of industrial consumers is to bolster their productivity; it is inconceivable to degrade it. The employment of such a plan is therefore delicate as it requires specific energy skills, which manufacturers do not often have.
Energy Poverty Plan: Energy poverty is the direct declination in the field of energy. It means lower incomes do not mix well with rising energy costs. As low-income households often live in the least energy-efficient housing, this action plan worsens their precariousness and does not contribute to stimulating the rate of energy renovation of older dwellings. To this regard, cities need to create local support mechanisms to support this precariousness, by reinvesting part of the public energy savings, capturing a part of the revenues of the flexibility, and so on, for instance.
Establishment of an Energy Management in Neighborhoods: One of the sources of energy savings is individual behaviors, in homes and offices as in the industry. Though they do not represent the most significant savings potential, they present one that is the most complex and most uncertain to achieve. The education of consumers, the animation of a virtuous behavioral dynamics does not only go through the school and the younger generations. It has been proven on many occasions that local events, in buildings or neighborhoods, led by volunteers known for their knowledge and outcomes, are also essential and must be implemented in a sustainable manner.
Establishment of an energy academy; development of co-working spaces; establishment of partner financing structures; plans autonomy & sharing and data plan are also some significant energy action plans for smart cities.
That being said, a smart city refers to a framework, which consists of information and communication technologies and smart energy solutions, to develop, deploy and promote sustainable development practices that can address rising urbanization challenges.