Where Intelligent Energy Storage Fits Within Smart City Development

Where Intelligent Energy Storage Fits Within Smart City Development

Posted: 2018.03.29

By: Kevin Williams

Categories: Cool Tech

Intelligent energy storage is a key factor in smart city development. This is important to note because smart cities are now a global phenomenon, including metropolises such as Kansas City, Missouri; Seoul, South Korea; and Amsterdam, Netherlands just to name a few. In all, the smart cities market is expected to grow from $4.24 billion in 2017 to $1.2 trillion by 2022 with a compound annual growth rate of 23.1 percent in that time frame.

What makes a smart city "smart" is its interconnectedness through internet of things (IoT) technology. This includes smart infrastructure, buildings, and government services as well as a host of other integral concepts in day-to- day urban life. IoT technology sends and receives data about such things as traffic conditions, water usage, and administrative processes so it can be stored and analyzed to increase efficiencies, lower costs, and improve overall living standards.

One issue with smart cities is that they can add to an already overwhelming demand for power in locations that are already population-dense and highly contributive to atmospheric carbon output. However, intelligent energy storage can facilitate the deployment of renewable energy solutions for smart cities, leading to greater energy efficiencies that offset or even eliminate this enhanced energy demand.

For example, Panasonic recently began an experiment near Denver to power an entire smart city infrastructure using renewable energy in a project called CityNow. The company recently completed a similar project in a small town outside of Tokyo that allowed a 1,000-home community to run completely off the grid for three days. This project also resulted in an overall 70 percent reduction in the community’s carbon emissions.

Intelligent energy storage increases efficiency, optimizes environmental impact, and fortifies grid resilience

Intelligent energy storage serves as both a smart city’s heart and brain in three distinct ways: First, it stores electricity from the grid or renewable energy sources to offset peak demand costs and lower carbon production. Second, it directs the flow of data across all smart city IoT technologies. Third, it uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and complex algorithms to determine the most efficient uses of smart city processes and energy consumption even at a granular level.

intelligent energy storage can also help smart cities make a positive environmental impact by increasing energy sustainability through reductions in peak-energy use and enhanced electric grid resilience. The result is dramatic carbon reduction and enhanced reliability of crucial energy services during natural disasters and other catastrophes. Navigant research indicates that energy storage will improve the delivery of smart energy solutions to smart cities through the deployment of distributed energy resources.

"Smart energy technologies such as energy storage will increasingly be called on to address the sustainability needs of the urban energy transformation now underway," says William Tokash, senior research analyst at Navigant Research. "Specifically, energy storage is now poised to support the delivery of low carbon distributed energy resources to reduce peak energy use and improve the resilience capabilities of urban landscapes by enhancing access to reliable electricity supply."

There are many reasons why smart cities should implement intelligent energy storage. These include economic, sustainability, and environmental benefits as well as increased resilience throughout the entire electric grid. With intelligent energy storage, IoT-enabled smart cities become more than just the sum of their parts, but a wholly integrated energy ecosystem optimized for success.