Smart cities 'needed before explosion in energy demand'
The importance of smart meters in managing the increasing energy demands of our future smart cities has been highlighted in a new report.
Powering future cities, research carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and published by Smart Energy GB, found that UK cities will experience an increase in electricity demand ranging from 20 to 44 per cent over 20 years, with demand for gas expected to rise between eight and 28 per cent.
Demand in Cardiff (44% electricity and 28% gas) is expected to grow the most, with London (39%/23%) close behind and followed by Bristol (34%/19%).
Australia is one nation leading the way in the development of smart city technology as a plan for Adelaide to become a 'Gig City' has been unveiled.
Bristol has already taken steps towards becoming a smart city, as 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.
Birmingham (30%/16%) and Glasgow (29%/15%) are expected to experience the next-highest growth ahead of the Northern cities and Nottingham.
The demand will primarily be driven by urban population growth, economic growth and a predicted surge in use of new technology, including electric vehicles.
Smart meters will be installed in every home in Great Britain by 2020. They will connect with and send data to energy suppliers and will help cities better manage energy demand.
Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Smart Energy GB, said: “This report looks at the challenges and opportunities ahead for our cities as energy demands change.
“It provides, for the first time, a detailed, city-level picture of future energy needs.
“Smart meters are an essential step to a smarter future. Many cities have already started to use smart technology to create cleaner, greener environments.
“With smart meters installed across the country there are great opportunities for further innovation.”
These meters can manage peaks and troughs in demand, for example those caused by changes in the weather.