Renewables, energy storage and the future of smart cities
‘Smart cities’ are no longer considered to be just a buzzword; they are a topic of constant conversation, and they’ve already come to fruition across the globe.
From Singapore to San Francisco, organisations, government officials and city planners have made incredible efforts to support the development of intelligent communities. Seydou Kane, managing director for Eaton Africa, takes a closer look at the synergy between renewables, energy storage and the future of smart cities.
According to a recent report by IHS Technology, there will be at least 88 smart cities all over the world by 2025, up from 21 in 2013. While the majority of these are likely to be located in Asia, Europe is expected to be home to more than 30.
With smart cities and the general population on the rise, one of the major issues facing industry leaders today is how to power these interconnected cities effectively and efficiently. As a result, many global leaders have publicly asked for a suitable and sustainable answer – one that would support critical infrastructure yet not add to the global emissions challenge.
While joblessness and migration from rural poverty to anticipated urban wealth has led to rapid urbanisation in South Africa and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, putting pressure on limited resources, designing smart cities – or even including elements of smart cities in existing metropolises, may help communities leapfrog obstacles that would impede more complex locations.
The increasing need for such a solution, coupled with the dropping costs of renewable technologies, has made the transition to a fossil fuel free environment more likely than ever before. In the last year alone, global renewable energy investment has increased to the point where it’s now surpassing investment in fossil fuels, according a recent UN report.
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