Distributed energy DE technologies have grown significantly in the U.S. Last year, DE represented one of the largest investments in the utilities space, and that investment, along with consequent growth, is likely to accelerate.
This growth will be disruptive to incumbent industries, especially utilities. Most U.S. electricity rates are variable, based on the number of kilowatt-hours used. DE reduces the number of kilowatt-hours sold by the utility to the customer.
This will cause disaggregation of the integrated value chain that has been served exclusively by utilities.
As the internet of things hype heats up, we’re seeing an array of deals signed between governments and big tech providers that purport to create some type of smart city.
Intel is part of a pilot project with the Silicon Valley city of San José, California, to add a network of connected sensors in various places as part of an effort to communicate information about air quality and encourage citizens and the government to act sustainably.
The city is starting out with three projects: one related to how downtown events affect air quality, a sustainable traffic planning effort and a plan to use air quality data in making decisions about where to put housing in urban areas.
From an economic standpoint, San Francisco is reaping the rewards of this thriving
sector; the Bay Area boasts the highest GDP per capita in the nation and an
unemployment rate much lower than the national average. At the same time, real
estate affordability is a pressing challenge, for residents and businesses alike, and
there is a fear that wealthy technology workers moving to San Francisco are
squeezing out other residents—threatening to transform a once-diverse city into na
How San Francisco addresses its challenges while maintaining its momentum will
help chart a path for many other cities with similar aspirations. This includes
ensuring that the city infrastructure keeps pace with the growing, changing demands
of a leading economy, and it especially involves the issue of affordability.
Masdar, a low-carbon, zero-waste urban center that could sustain a 40,000 person population, 1,500 clean tech businesses, and 50,000 commuters, while using 20% of the power of a conventional city.
Distributed energy: Disrupting the utility business model
Distributed energy, or local energy production, may disrupt the traditional business model of utility companies.
Driven by the increase of energy costs, local production is becoming competitive and affordable, particularly through the use of photovoltaic cells.
This new imbalance is creating opportunities in:
- helping customers generate their own energy supply;
- managing end-user demand for energy;
- controlling the distribution and consumption of energy within a local network.
But there’s still plenty of room to innovate in Energy Efficiency related products and direct-current networks to power LED lighting and other electronic devices.
European Initiative on Smart Cities
Glasgow, Scotland’s second largest city, will be the Future City demonstrator, a £24m smart city project to provide real-time information about traffic and apps to check that buses and trains are on time.
Part of the European Initiative on Smart Cities, this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of rapidly progressing towards energy and climate objectives at a local level while proving to citizens that their quality of life and local economies can be improved through investments in energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions.
Copenhagen Shows How Cities Can Become Clean Tech Leaders
Copenhagen is developing a strong Clean Tech cluster leveraging on the cities needs and long-term development strategy.
How Smart Cities Save Money (and the Planet)
Examples of good measures to improve resources usage.