Cities turn to smart energy systems to meet future energy needs

A new report highlights the progress being made in British cities to address future energy demands.

The report, Powering Future Cities, focuses on 11 major cities and says they are already making “great strides” to meet energy demand using smart technology.

For example, in Bristol the Smart Energy City Collaboration has mapped out the steps needed to leverage smart energy data to curb energy waste and cut demand, enhance the value of local renewable energy generation, and target better support to people in fuel poverty.

Nottingham is preparing to launch a solar battery storage project which will allow private households to utilise 30% more of their generated energy.

And in London the Energy Efficiency Fund is supporting programmes to help Londoners make energy saving improvements to buildings across the city.

Across the UK, electricity demand is currently falling thanks to energy efficiency measures and greater interest in energy saving. This is expected to continue until around 2025.

But between 2025 and 2035, the analysis points to a sustained increase in electricity demand as the economy and size of the population expands and more people use electric vehicles.

“Our current energy system must be ready for when millions of people plug-in electric vehicles at the same time at the end of the working day,” explained Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Smart Energy GB.

The energy system also needs to be ready for greater use of renewables, which will bring the challenge of intermittent energy supply.

This can be addressed through energy storage and ‘peak shifting’ of energy demand across the day. Smart meter technology can play a key role in helping to manage energy flows.

“With smart meters installed across the country there are great opportunities for further innovation,” Deshmukh said.

The research was carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research on behalf of Smart Energy GB, the national campaign for the smart meter rollout.

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