As world leaders gather for the annual G7 summit, taking place in Taormina, Italy, from 26 to 27 May 2017, Climate Change – The New Economy magazine has published the official 2017 G7 summit magazine. IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk has written an article, Towards sustainable, Smart Communities, which focuses on how the IEC neutral and independent global platform is enabling development of sustainable Smart Cities and Communities with innovative electrical energy solutions.
Here are some excerpts from the article…
Electricity, a building block of Smart Cities and Smart Communities
There is no such thing as a virtual Smart City – no electricity means no Smart City. To gain the benefits of today’s and tomorrow’s intelligent, interconnected systems, cities must have a reliable, quality power supply and all the hardware and software that accompanies it.
New kid on the block
Low voltage direct current (LVDC) is an innovative, disruptive technology with almost unlimited potential for Smart Cities and Smart Communities. It will fundamentally change and accelerate energy access and highlight opportunities for economic growth and improved standards of living.
Today 1,2 billion people have no access to electricity and nearly another 2 billion people have very limited, intermittent access.
When combined with energy storage technology, LVDC has the potential to bring millions of people out of the dark and into Smart Communities. Through the use of LVDC technology, these people can have access to renewable energy and enhanced economic development opportunities.
Innovative electrical energy solutions
Using electricity as direct current makes a great deal of sense for Smart Cities and Smart Communities. This can reduce the amount of primary energy lost through unnecessary power conversion from DC to AC to DC, as well as losses through transportation of electricity over long distances. It is time to redefine how energy is generated and consumed by future generations. The IEC contributes the technical foundation to help make this happen.
The work of the IEC in this area brings additional benefits to Smart Cities and Smart Communities. For example, by helping to enable LVDC systems, microgrids, off-grid energy and energy storage systems, IEC work can assist cities and communities maintain power longer and recover power faster after power outages and disasters.
International Standards make cities and communities smarter
Today, collaboration and cooperation beyond traditional boundaries is a key factor for the success of Smart Cities and Smart Communities. International Standards, by their very nature, contain expert knowledge and best practice, and are essential enablers to ensure high quality and performance of products and services. They drive compatibility between technologies and also, in a systems approach, they enable the integration of structures or solutions from different suppliers.
Bringing key players together
No single entity can ever deliver everything that is needed to bring cities and communities to greater smartness – that’s why many organizations need to cooperate and bring their expertise together, including in standardization.