09/01/2018 – News / Smart Grids / Energy / Renewables / Blockchain / Juniper Research
Smart Grids could save city dwellers $14bn in energy costs in 2022
New data from Juniper Research has found that the development of smart grids linked to smart cities will result in citizens saving US$14 billion per annum in energy bills in 2022. This is up from the US$3.4 billion saving estimated for 2017, resulting from smart meter rollouts, energy-saving policies and sensing technology to improve grid reliability and efficiency.
As part of the new study, Smart Cities: Strategies & Forecasts in Energy, Transport & Lighting 2017-2022, Juniper analysed and ranked global cities to assess their performance and approach towards energy consumption and delivery. South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, leads the Global Smart Cities Energy Ranking, followed by San Francisco, New York, Portland, and Barcelona.
"Seoul’s large-scale deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, smart street lighting and smart meter rollouts will undoubtedly accelerate the development of smart grid infrastructure to manage these elements," remarked research author Steffen Sorrell.
Renewables and blockchain to transform the Grid
Juniper found that the high cost of carbon capture and storage technology was making fossil fuel investment uneconomical. With the projected cost of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar falling close to US$60 per MWh (Megawatt hour) in 2022, it predicted the inevitable investment would force accelerated deployment of smart grid solutions to reliably scale renewable energy.
Furthermore, the research argued that the business case for distributed renewable generation would be strengthened by the application of blockchain. Here, dramatic efficiencies along the value chain could be achieved by simplifying a certification system that is currently susceptible to accounting errors and increased costs.
Policy shift required
Juniper found that with smart city budgets now being discussed and allocated worldwide, policy had become more important than the technology. For instance, it argued that MaaS (Mobility as a Service) could drastically reduce city congestion by virtue of nearly eliminating the need for private transport.
Nevertheless, the research firm also claimed that MaaS would never come to fruition without strict city policy enforcement. For that reason, it predicted that cities in Far East Asia would become ‘true’ smart cities earlier than their Western counterparts.