#4 Sustainable energy crucial in Future Cities
Will existing amount of electricity be sufficient for all electric cars? How can we take advantage of wasted energy and reuse it? How can we benefit from the ongoing digitalization in Future Cities?
The need for electricity will escalate in the coming years. We want electric cars to a greater extent - both privately and as public transport. We also see digital road signs that are being updated in real time and that Wi-Fi is required in all locations to give us access to all the apps we use every day. The new behavior challenges us to make sustainable energy available at all times.
Smart grids as the solution
Smart grid is a way of using digitalization and usage patterns to effectively provide sustainable, affordable and reliable power supply.
Here are some examples;
There are solutions that take advantage of the heat that leaks out of different cooling units. Instead of wasting heat and energy, you use it for other purposes where the heat is needed. Like E.ONs new project in Medicon Village Science Park in Lund where buildings are linked together to balance different needs for heating and cooling.
We also have situations where the consumer becomes a supplier, a so called prosumer. The energy you do not use, you share it with others. This creates a local trading venue for electricity, heat and cooling. One example is Johanneberg Science Park experiment FED where the goal is to decrease energy usage and the dependence on fossil fuel. To level out the energy peaks, it is possible to compensate with surplus from another building that has lower energy requirements.
Another area is a more effective use of the electric cars, public transports and larger transports. Today these vehicles are not being used efficiently – a passenger car is parked about 70% of the time and that means you could share this electricity for another usage.
This transformation and increased need of electricity is happening right now. The focus on creating a sustainable energy supply is high on the agenda when we design Future Cities.