Reduce environmental pollution, cut costs for energy production and put the systems available to all – these are the three most important objectives underlying the various activities which have emerged in the international arena for the creation of intelligent systems.
A Smart City means its netizen and the government would be able to organize activities better and in this regard, the use of electricity carried out a fundamental role in the local economy. To become a Smart City, it implies a clear commitment and investment in financial and cultural innovation.
One of the clearest examples of attention intelligent use of energy resources is the city of Seattle, which has stood for some time as one of the “smart” cities in the world. The local administration has initiated a four-year program, whose goal is to reduce energy consumption by private citizens as well as businesses.
As part of the initiative, Seattle is planning to reduce the energy requirements to lower than 573 MWh in four years, thanks to investments of over $200 million. These investments will not be lost, but will be turned into cost savings for citizens. For companies, this investment will turn into new funds for the hiring of employees. By some estimates, for every million dollars invested, Seattle will able to create on average between 6 to 12 jobs.
By the use of low-power solutions for lighting and the power supply of electronic devices, the future design of buildings will be able to reduce the electrical energy required for its maintenance.
The action plan wanted from Seattle consists of several sections, characterized by several concrete actions that the local government has taken steps in recent years.
The intelligent energy management cities
If Seattle has thus shown that it is possible to start procedures to reduce energy consumption, some people are able to do even more. The Icelandic city Reykjavik today derives 100% of the electricity needed to daily activities from renewable and sustainable sources.
Each Watts consumed by citizens or industries is so clean, it does not cause problems to the environment in any way and is characterized by a much lower cost than the rest of the world. To Reykjavik, it is, therefore, a clear example of how to exploit the resources provided from the territory and improve the level of sustainability of human activities.
The same result was obtained from Brunico in the province of Bolzano. The city produces 100% of the own electricity with renewable sources, thanks to more than 800 square meters of solar panels. It even manages to transfer extra energy to meet the needs of the neighboring cities.
German municipalities, which comprises a series of small municipalities (known as Bruchsmühlbach-Miesau), has launched a program in collaboration with the United States to use solar panels distributed inside a military base. By 2013, the objective was to produce 290% of the energy needs through the use of wind power and biogas, as well as from solar.
In the US, there are several examples of business realities that have demonstrated its sensitivity to issues related to the intelligent use of resources.
Google, for instance, has sponsored several occasions the creation of systems for the production of green electricity, such as the central Oregon built with the aim of creating the largest source of wind energy in the world. Google is also working on the network of wind turbines designed to cover a significant portion of the US east coast with investments of $200 million.
Microsoft is studying a technique for using the heat generated by its servers in the cloud infrastructure to turn the cloud into a real source of energy. The energy available in such contexts is too low for a conversion into electrical form, but enough to heat homes in the vicinity of the data center.
The government of India is working on an ambitious smart cities mission project to convert 100 cities into smart cities by enabling local development and harnessing technology to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people.