Smart city technologies are poised to increase energy efficiency and encourage sustainable living in municipalities focused on building back better after the COVID-19 pandemic and curbing their greenhouse gas emissions, Oilprice.com reports.
Although the immediate response to the pandemic has put big chunks of investment on hold, the response to the pandemic and the ensuing economic slowdown “have had many national and local governments think about building back a better future, one that involves intelligent use of energy resources,” Oilprice writes, citing a report released earlier this month by Dedham, Massachusetts-based ARC Advisory Group. “During the pandemic, governments are using investment in technology to help curb the spread of the coronavirus and to help the economy after the COVID-19 fallout,” and even with the pandemic still in full swing, “many cities continue to pursue investment in ‘smart city’ technology, which could be a boon to economic recovery.”
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The story points to a handful of International Energy Agency reports, including a 2019 release on energy efficiency and digital technologies that reinforced the point.
“Digitalization enables ‘smart’ buildings, vehicles, and industrial facilities to provide new sources of flexible load to the energy system, which can help to reduce renewables curtailment on the supply side and support communities to consume energy produced themselves, ‘behind the meter’,” the Paris-based agency wrote. “With more renewables in the system, and more community self-consumption, the end result is a more efficient energy system, thanks to reductions in losses associated with producing and distributing energy,”
Oilprice also points to utilities using digital technologies and artificial intelligence to bring more renewable energy onto the grid, with European utilities Iberdrola, Enel, Rte, and e.On and U.S. firms Exelon, Duke, and Edison International spending record amounts on software in 2019, according to the IEA.
The news report lists smart charging for electric vehicles, predictive analytics for energy-efficient buildings, artificial intelligence for commercial building energy management, and “digital twinning” for grid planning as examples of the emerging trend.
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