Renewable 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.
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. And while the majority of these are likely to be located in Asia, Europe is expected to be home to more than thirty.
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. 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 to a recent UN report.
From wind to solar, nations all over the globe are utilising this shift to create innovative and energy efficient solutions from natural power. In Saudi Arabia, a $200 billion solar power development has just been signed off, potentially tripling the country’s electricity generation capacity. Over in China – one of the most highly populated countries in the world – the Jiuquan Wind Power Base, also called Gansu Wind Farm Project, was recently approved by the government. The wind farm, which is currently installing capacity of more than 6,000 MW, is projected to grow to a total of 10,000 MW, solidifying China’s ambition to be a global leader in renewable energy.
Though renewable energy is the way of the future, there are still some concerns about how this will all be feasible – especially as our cities continue to get bigger, smarter and more demanding. This uncertainty has led many industry leaders to start asking valid, but tough, questions….