The modern development regarding the level of technologies adopted in cities varies from one location to another and the zeal to reform. Smart cities aim to reform various sectors through the integration of information and communication together with the internet of things. All these aim to improve the living standards of the people living in different cities as well as the work environment of the people living in the city.
Energy is one of the most essential and dependable things in any city. The economies and living standards in many cities are dependent on the energy available. Smart city energy supports cities in the development of innovativeness and various strategies for sustainable energy transitions. Various forms of energy have been leading in pollution through emission of carbon and to reduce this, the new houses built in smart cities are advised to meet a nearly zero energy requirement. However, currently, cities are responsible for two-thirds of global energy use and nearly 70% of greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, smart city energy aims at reducing pollutions by incorporating new concepts of energy use and the use of renewable sources of energy efficiently. These include wind energy and solar energy.
Common technologies in smart city energy
As cities lead in energy consumption by nearly two thirds and over 70% of CO2 emissions worldwide, urbanization is set to increase, and these numbers might increase. Cities house half of the world’s population today and the number is set to increase to three-quarters because of a vast number of citizens moving into cities daily. With the smart city concept that aims to digitalize all activities in the cities, it is important to digitalize the energy sector in these cities as a major component. The bringing of energy and digital technology together is set to pave the way for the new ecosystem of services which will lead to a better and quality life through reduced energy consumption.
Technological innovations that are intertwined with the energy disciplines are so many. They include technology that controls the energy used in the buildings around the cities. Others include modern electronic devices and communication devices that use less amount of energy. There are other devices that are useful in this field such as temperature sensors that help in knowing the temperature and whether to use the air conditioning systems. Smart meters help in regulating and giving viable information on how energy is being consumed. Homeowners can also use renewable sources of energy sparingly through the use of smart electronics such as fridges and televisions that consume less energy than the traditional ones. These are examples of technologies that are changing the way we use energy.
How smart city energy impacts citizens
- Positive impact – as the IT revolution is growing, so is the energy revolution. Therefore, smart city energy has impacted citizens with the zeal to get information that helps them customize their energy use by incorporating the use of energy-efficient systems such as smart meters.
There is also an estimated increase in the number of citizens who have ventured into producing own energy. This is through the use of solar panels of wind turbines to generate solar energy and wind energy respectively. The citizens can now customize how they use their own produced energy since they will be comfortable. They won’t be answerable to anyone, and they can use their energy sparingly. They can also share the energy produced by their neighbors.
The citizens in smart cities are also shifting from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. This, therefore, promotes energy conservation.
- Negative impact – Implementing modern technology in the energy sector is expensive for most of the citizens. The current hard economic times have made it hard for the transitions of energy from the analog one to the much exciting smart energy. For one to incorporate smart city energy fully, they would have to start from the construction of a new house to buy new and modern equipment. This will be a hard nut to crack for the many citizens.
There are also negative environmental effects caused by some of the smart energy devices used in smart city energy. There have been researches that prove how wireless frequencies such as those used in smart meters are causing harm to the environment. The well-known effects of wireless radiation on pollinators and food plants are causing a decline in the food supply and the reduction of the world’s ecosystems.
Applications of smart city energy
Smart city energy can be applied in many residential homes that depend on energy to do most of the activities such as lighting, heating of the houses, heating of water, entertainment and cooking. It can also be applied in industries that depend on a lot of energy. The industries can generate their energy from the renewable sources of energy to run most of their operations. The smart city energy concept can be applied in workplaces and areas such as offices and business areas. In general, smart city energy is dependable and can be applied in almost all areas and aspects of human life.