Ur­ban aids

> Ur­ban­i­sa­tion and its ben­e­fits on the en­vi­ron­ment

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

the to­tal. The re­gion is ur­ban­is­ing at a more rapid rate, more than any other re­gion in the world. By 2050, some 64% of Asia will be­come ur­ban.

Mean­while, with es­ti­mates sug­gest­ing that cities are re­spon­si­ble for 75% of global CO2 emis­sions – trans­port and build­ings be­ing among the largest con­trib­u­tors – it is not sur­pris­ing that many Asian gov­ern­ments and the pri­vate sec­tor are com­ing to­gether to re­think how the ur­ban­i­sa­tion mega­trend can be lever­aged to fur­ther, rather than to hin­der, sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.

To de­rive at en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­van­tages from ur­ban­i­sa­tion, city plan­ners and gov­ern­ments are con­sid­er­ing run­ning a city as a multi­na­tional com­pany by gath­er­ing key data, util­is­ing in­for­ma­tion ef­fec­tively, and hav­ing a clear long-term strat­egy.

This is why the pri­vate sec­tor is es­sen­tial as it con­trib­utes its var­i­ous in­dus­try ex­per­tise and by work­ing with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and part­ners, it en­sures that city lead­ers have all of the ne­ces­si­ties in place to run a city like an MNC. This might in­volve track­ing, man­ag­ing and fore­cast­ing sus­tain­abil­ity met­rics such as car­bon, wa­ter and waste, op­ti­mis­ing the per­for­mance of build­ing in­fra­struc­ture, as well as de­vel­op­ing long-term sus­tain­abil­ity plans to ad­dress pri­or­i­ties, needs and is­sues.

Asian cities to-date are ac­tively evolv­ing and in­no­vat­ing in us­ing smart tech­nolo­gies to achieve the goals of sus­tain­abil­ity, live­abil­ity and re­spon­sive­ness. Their ef­forts can be seen in three key ar­eas – build­ings, wa­ter and en­ergy.

SMART BUILD­INGS

Ac­cord­ing to the UN En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gramme, en­ergy con­sumed by build­ings has es­ca­lated to around 40% of to­tal con­sump­tion, world­wide.

At the same time, stud­ies have shown that only a quar­ter of a build­ing’s costs are as­so­ci­ated with cap­i­tal ex­penses. The re­main­ing three­quar­ters go to­ward op­er­at­ing a build­ing over its life­cy­cle. To make mat­ters worse, the en­ergy use in build­ings is only going to rise as the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency pre­dicts en­ergy de­mand to in­crease by 50% by 2050.

In­te­grated build­ing man­age­ment so­lu­tions are an ex­cel­lent way to en­able smart, sus­tain­able ecosys­tems inside and out­side build­ings, re­gard­less the age of the build­ings. In many Asian cities, the com­bi­na­tion of pop­u­la­tion growth and a sharp in­crease in de­mand for en­ergy and man­u­fac­tur­ing has ma­jor reper­cus­sions on wa­ter as a re­source. The World Bank fore­casts a global deficit of 40% be­tween an­tic­i­pated de­mand and avail­able wa­ter re­sources by 2030.

Smart wa­ter so­lu­tions, such as im­prov­ing wa­ter man­age­ment sys­tems and net­works, pre­vent­ing and re­duc­ing leaks, and op­ti­mis­ing pro­cess­ing, are crit­i­cal in ad­dress­ing this chal­lenge. When im­ple­mented in East Wa­ter’s wa­ter pipe net­work – Thai­land’s most ad­vanced, ef­fi­cient and com­plete wa­ter pipe­line at ap­prox­i­mately 400km long – such so­lu­tions re­duced wa­ter loss in the pipe­line by 17% (from 20% to 3%), and re­duced en­ergy con­sump­tion by 5%.

SMART EN­ERGY

De­mand for en­ergy in Asia is ex­pected to dou­ble within the next 15 years, largely ex­pected in cities. As fos­sil fu­els re­main the main source to power Asian cities, gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity in a sus­tain­able way will pose a great chal­lenge. Thank­fully, the growth in al­ter­na­tive sources of en­ergy has cre­ated new op­por­tu­ni­ties for gov­ern­ments and companies in Asia to in­te­grate re­new­able en­ergy sources, us­ing so­lar and wind, with smarter up­grade projects across the re­gion.

One such ex­am­ple is the San Lorenzo Wind Farm in the Philip­pines. It adopted an end-to-end so­lu­tion that pro­tects the wind farm from many sys­tem faults and en­sures re­li­able pro­duc­tion all-year round. And is ca­pa­ble of gen­er­at­ing over 120 GWh of elec­tric­ity an­nu­ally and can sus­tain the en­ergy de­mands of 48,000 house­holds.

Smart grid so­lu­tions are also trans­form­ing the power in­dus­try. By let­ting busi­nesses know how much power they are us­ing and cal­cu­lat­ing the costs in real-time, busi­nesses have the nec­es­sary tools to mea­sure and re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion. Companies are lever­ag­ing on the “In­ter­net of Things (IoT)” and smart grids to build more ef­fi­cient en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture in cities. When elec­tri­cal sys­tems of build­ings are con­nected to smart grids, the grids de­tect power us­age and di­vert power to places where it is needed most.

As ur­ban­i­sa­tion rapidly trans­forms the face of Asia and the lives of its peo­ple, ev­ery­one from pol­icy mak­ers to companies and res­i­dents have an im­por­tant role to play in en­sur­ing that the ben­e­fits that ur­ban ex­pan­sion brings is ef­fi­cient, in­clu­sive and sus­tain­able, and life is “on” for ev­ery­one, ev­ery­where at ev­ery mo­ment.

The article by Soo was in­spired by the re­port that the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice in Malaysia had saved 40% in en­ergy after adopt­ing Schneider Elec­tric’s Build­ing Au­toma­tion and En­ergy Mon­i­tor­ing Sys­tem. This retrofitting pro­ject also helps Malaysia meet its Copen­hagen prom­ise, to re­duce 40% of car­bon emis­sions by 2020.

With proper col­lab­o­ra­tion, the right use of data, cre­ativ­ity, sci­ence and the IoT, ur­ban­i­sa­tion is said to be the smart and sus­tain­able way for­ward, a more pro­gres­sive and con­struc­tive ap­proach to a bet­ter fu­ture. Retrived from www.aseanup.com

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