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Global Futures Report 2013 - Box 6

42 RENEWABLES GLOBAL FUTURES REPORT 04 FUTURES AT THE LOCAL/CITY LEVEL: INITIATIVE, PLANNING, AND POLICY The idea of “smart cities” is an emerging local paradigm that many experts expected to see extended globally in the coming decades. Already, there are more than 100 announced “smart cities” proj- ects around the world. As cities move toward sustainable and low-carbon infrastructure, they will increasingly use information and communication technologies (ICT) to develop “smart” energy systems that enhance energy efficiency and energy management, that maximize the integration of local renewables in buildings and local power grids, and that integrate electric vehicles in effective ways. Cities and experts alike viewed ICT and “smart” systems as play- ing a distinctive role in the future process of “greening” urban infrastructure. They envisioned “smart” systems at the local level that handle increasing amounts of variable renewable energy from local sources, incorporate local energy storage, and provide greater flexibility, efficiency, and transparency in the power dis- tribution grid. (See also Chapter 2 for discussion of renewables integration into utility grids, buildings, and transport.) Smart buildings. As buildings and homes become low-energy, “passive,” or zero-emission, intelligent energy management will play a greater role. Transition to these types of buildings will employ greater efficiency, on-site energy generation, and real- time information on energy use for both the consumer and the energy network. A major step toward these goals will be wide- spread deployment of smart meters mandated by local authorities or national governments. Connected to an energy management system, these meters will allow owners to have real-time informa- tion about the energy consumption of their homes and buildings in terms of heat and power systems. Such “intelligent building information systems” are paving the way for greater integration of renewables into building infrastructure and the grid. Smart grids. “Smart grids” refers to a wide variety of innovations for future electric grids. (See Chapter 2.) At the local level, “smart grids” can mean many things, such as local energy consumption management (“demand response”), integration and balancing of distributed and variable renewable sources, grid balancing with energy storage, enabling of so-called electric vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) applications, and optimum control of renewable-linked heat supply and combined heat and power (CHP) systems. Some cities even envision smart-grid control of so-called “virtual power plants” that combine citywide distributed renewables into flexible aggregated power at the city level. Cities and local governments envision many benefits from smart grids, foremost a stable, efficient, and resilient energy system, as well as the ability to incorporate higher levels of local renewables. Smart transport. Under “smart” paradigms, cities will promote electric vehicles not only to reduce emissions and improve air quality, but also to enable “smart” charging to smooth energy demand and store energy to balance variable local renewables. Experts emphasized that such coordination will be important to ensure that electric vehicles do not place stress on local power grids and cause overloads. Yokohama, Japan, for instance, aims to introduce electric vehicle charging stations that also provide embedded energy storage. And electric vehicle charging and dis- charging will provide energy storage capacity for balancing vari- able renewable energy at lower cost. (See Chapter 2 on power grid and transport integration for more discussion.) Hundreds of cities and local governments around the world are working actively toward ICT-rich smart buildings, smart grids, and smart transport. As one example, Boulder, Colorado (USA) plans to invest more than $100 million in creating a smart grid for the city. Many other active examples can be found, such as Amsterdam, Beijing, Buenos Aires, London, Moscow, Paris, São Paulo, Singapore, Seoul, Stockholm, and Sydney. A number of cities in developing countries are also following suit by more incrementally introducing ICT technologies, such as Delhi, Dhaka, Johannesburg, Karachi, Lagos, and Manila. Although the level of ICT integration varies from city to city, and local technological capabilities and skills are key to progress, many cities acknowledge the impor- tant role that ICT and “smart” paradigms will play in their future transformation. Source: See Endnote 17 for this chapter. Box 6 | Emerging “Smart Cities” Paradigms this trend continuing for decades into the future, and foresaw many transit systems becoming 100% renewable fueled. For example, Johannesburg (South Africa) is introducing a fleet of ethanol-fueled buses. In Brazil, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro collaborated on a pilot project to fuel city buses with a biodiesel blend, and Curitiba is expanding its bus fleet to 140 pure-biodiesel buses. São Paulo is also promoting “flexible fuel” vehicles that run on a much wider range of gasoline-ethanol blends.25 In India, New Delhi plans to fuel its bus fleet with biogas produced at local sewage treatment plants. In Japan, Kyoto will fuel public buses with biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Portland, Oregon, in the United States requires all vehicle fuels sold within city limits to be biofuel blends. And both Hong Kong (China) and Wellington (New Zealand) plan to add biofuels to their transport fleets. In Denmark, Frederikshavn fuels local transit from biogas and bio-methanol derived from waste, straw, and manure, along with growing num- bers of electric and fuel-cell vehicles.26 Finally, cities are employing urban-density strategies, such as pedestrian zones and bike-sharing systems, to encourage greater use of human-powered transport. Barcelona, Berlin, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, Montreal, and Paris, among others, already have bike-sharing systems, while Sochi (Russia) and Genoa (Italy) are among those planning investments. Experts believed that these trends will lead to further integration of renewable energy, as most of these cities also aim to deploy electric bikes, which can then be powered from renewables.27

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