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”
We are witnessing a sweeping change being undertaken within the energy sector. The shifting away from traditional models of energy supply, based on one fuel, with limited or no choice for the ultimate consumer, has been our energy system for decades.
Today the energy dynamics of supply and demand are significantly changing. Monopolies are breaking down; be these in the single use of one fuel, in the past fossil fuel (oil, gas, coal) to generate the energy are now being challenged and progressively replaced with the cleaner, more friendly sustaining alternatives offered by solar, wind, water. These offer solutions to bringing down our carbon emissions but are far more dramatic in their impact on the energy systems we have in place.
In the last few months, I have got increasingly nervous about where we are NOT going on climate change
The bush fires of Australia have been shocking, devastating, and crippling. They catalyze the concerns we all should have.
Each of us might or likely will face a shocking, devastating or crippling “event” in our lives in the next ten to twenty years. I feel it is inevitable, irrespective if we stopped all the debates and did the level of investment, we need to reverse the climate warming.
The next ten years of our investments in cutting emissions and refocusing our energy needs must go towards clean energy (renewables). Our ability to make a change will determine if these events recently will become the new norm, as our planet spins even more out of our ability to control climate-warming through greenhouse gases.
So I have to move through this shocking, devastating, and crippling effect but have I have begun to accept the reality that our world is in a “state of climate alarm,” not just a “climate emergency.”
I have never before published one article on each of my three posting sites. This post I just had to. It is shaping me in how I look at innovation, collaboration, the power of networks, ecosystems and most of all, in our world of energy transition needed to reverse climate warming. So apologies if you see it on three separate sites but I don’t apologize for my real, underlying concern on where we are seemingly heading as a world.
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.
Energy is in a massive state of change, truly global in its transition. There is a power sector transformation going on, towards a low-carbon, reliable, affordable and secure energy system.
The need is to manage the transition from the old, more reliant on fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal) into the renewables /wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal and biomass). Turning to innovation in new solutions is making this all possible.
For me, the interesting thing is that innovation is the engine powering the energy transformation and that the pace of discovery, exploration, and solution is beginning to happen at a rapid rate of demand-driven need. As someone engaged in innovation, the energy transformation story is getting really exciting.
You sense the future is changing, gaining unstoppable momentum. The difficulty for us all is this sort of transformation is at such a scale of complexity, rapid pace and variability; it is highly complex to relate too.