In recent months I have become totally “wrapped up” in the energy transition occurring across the world. The whole transformation we are undertaking is not just for our energy sake; it is for more for our climate sake and having a sustainable future.
Energy is one of the critical drivers of our well-being, providing one of the essentials to survive and thrive. We need water, food, air, shelter, and sleep, and our source of energy underpins all of these as the energy transition in its solutions are aimed at cleaning up our climate and environment before it is too late and give us more energy to power the next growth cycle.
In recent weeks I have been thinking about our business environment differently. The past few months have forced the majority of us to work in different ways. We have become in a very short time “remote workers.” in necessity and need.
Yet for many “newbies” in remote working, who have been working from home in these last few months, are now facing the decision of when and if they can return to their old normal of their office. It is a difficult decision and one that needs careful consideration and clarification of “how safe is this and what will have changed in my old working environment?”
Going back to the business office is undergoing such a radical shift due to the pandemic and all of what it has forced us to do; social distancing, being in lockdown, minimizing physical contact. The environment we work in is not simply a physical one, it has become a psychological one to manage as well.
I strongly relate to Smart Cities or Smart Infrastructure as the grouping area dealing with the business dealing with the Edge for final energy transmission or the final beneficiary, the Consumer but I do relate to Urban Development as a “greater” catch-all for thinking a little wider on the potential to engage far more.
There is so much potential in technology currently being invested in our cities and their infrastructures. There are many estimates of this investment, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, they estimated that cities around the world would need to double current infrastructure investments from $10 to $20 trillion annually, to build the necessary physical infrastructure to support growing populations and needs.
The Smart Grid is evolving and will be essential in the next decade to bring the kind of transformation our existing energy grids require. Infrastructures to be fit for purpose must be fully integrated and smart to manage the increasing complexity and needs of electricity in the 21st century.
Smart Grids are part of the Smart Infrastructure approach in our need for complete Urban Transitions currently being undertaken. Let me try to step back here and give some broader understanding of “smart grids”
Smart infrastructure connects many parts of the city both physically and digitally. Services that capture the relevant information enable the deployment and introduction of the appropriate assets as the solutions.
Smart solutions for resolving the demands placed in everyday events like traffic flows, energy, and water requirements, transportation utilization, or in managing energy peak demands or optimizing buildings.
Through digital understanding, you learn from what is in place to improve the future in designs, capability, and asset utilization through the use of intelligent data providing relevant insights.
A digital understanding can help predict many variances and assumptions, for example on load demands, on traffic flow, on shifting resources to balance the “system” for the immediate and future; all of these are based on the data collected and can be compared on the forecasts made.
To achieve this, you need a constant flow of ‘real-time’ data, not historical ‘lagging’ information, that is often out of date before you can evaluate it.
In an extraordinary time of being “locked down,” we appreciate the safe haven we call home, the office, or the working environment. We are expecting it to be a safe environment for us to continue to operate and provide us the comfort and protection we are all looking for.
Having intelligent connected structures is playing an increasing role in our lives, in the mission of your organization, in your loved one’s daily lives; in offices, in our building like hospitals, in government offices, in research labs or schools, and most importantly in our homes.
We often do not recognize everything that goes int our building to deliver an optimal or suitable space for us to be productive. We assume it is there, working and functioning as required. It is when something goes wrong, we begin to notice. It is when we have time to stop and look around we begin to wonder how we can improve our environments. There is a lot we can do, and as we learn to work increasingly “at a distance.” Continue reading “Viewing our buildings differently for what they offer”
Energy networks are finally moving from century-old models were the power was flowing from centralized sources, based on the conventional generation of coal, oil and gas to the load centres and grids, based more on renewables.
Today and in the future, a new generation is spreading out across the energy networks, based on renewable sources of wind and solar and through innovative technology, into a more decentralized, distributed generation that the end-user can influence and control.
New solutions of Microgrids, energy storage solutions, and even the ability to localize renewable power is changing the energy supply business. In many ways, the end-user or final consumer is establishing control over their energy needs; they need to take out the volatility in energy supplies and build resilience into their system. They are looking for solutions that optimize their power demand, consumption, pricing, and overall management of their energy resources. Continue reading “Storage unlocks the flexibility within our future energy needs”
When you stop and think, you realize that infrastructure, at its core, is undoubtedly about connectivity.
Infrastructure enables people and what they need, so as to function and thrive, to provide the structures to get them from place to place, to provide sustaining residence and prospects.
If we make this infrastructure “smart,” what will that give us?
“Smart” as a concept is not just supplying the connectivity but also delivering the sense-making capability from what it offers, through the data provided. We can model, use big data analytics, apply analysis and data mine, to make this set of connections, to improve our intelligence.