SMART CITIES:

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

RE­SEARCH clearly shows we need to em­brace a greener and more en­ergy ef­fi­cient life­style. Com­men­ta­tors on fu­ture ur­ban­i­sa­tion be­lieve in a shift to­wards smart cities and dig­i­tal towns.

This smart city revo­lu­tion is al­ready un­der­way, with a num­ber of them al­ready op­er­at­ing across the coun­try.

At the heart of this devel­op­ment is the smart grid, an elec­tric­ity sup­ply net­work that uses dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy, along with smart me­ters. It will help the tran­si­tion to a low car­bon en­ergy in­dus­try in Bri­tain.

The smart grid acts as a near real-time en­ergy con­troller de­liv­er­ing ex­actly what is needed to the right lo­ca­tion, which will lead to a more ef­fi­cient, ef­fec­tive and cleaner en­ergy sup­ply.

These types of data-driven de­ci­sions are al­ready part of mod­ern-day life – from wear­able fit­ness track­ers to smart park­ing so­lu­tions and smart en­ergy me­ters.

Cur­rently, there is no ac­cu­rate way for the en­ergy grid to map the de­mand from homes and busi­nesses at any given time. A smart grid will put an end to that by match­ing sup­ply and de­mand.

Do­mes­tic smart me­ters, cur­rently be­ing in­stalled in homes across Great Bri­tain at no ex­tra cost by en­ergy sup­pli­ers, are in­te­gral to the suc­cess of the smart grid. This is be­cause the de­liv­ery of near real-time, ac­cu­rate data to the smart grid al­lows for more ef­fec­tive over­all man­age­ment of en­ergy across the coun­try. Not only will the smart grid use dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy to de­tect and re­act to lo­cal changes in us­age, it will also en­able cities and towns to be more con­nected and con­se­quently bet­ter man­aged. Smart grids will also re­sult in en­ergy-smart en­vi­ron­ments, such as mak­ing street lights more ef­fec­tive, with each one send­ing and re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion about the level of light re­quired at a given mo­ment.

They could also act as a trans­mit­ter for other data to keep ar­eas safe – they can gather and share en­vi­ron­men­tal de­tail such as flood­ing, con­ges­tion or traf­fic in­ci­dents with ei­ther the lo­cal au­thor­ity, or, in the not-sodis­tant fu­ture, the driver­less cars on the road that they are con­nected with.

The smart grid could fa­cil­i­tate safer pub­lic spa­ces which will be cre­ated with data cap­ture sen­sors to mon­i­tor ev­ery­thing from air If you have a smart TV, Google Home or Alexa, or use Siri on your iPhone, you’ve al­ready em­braced the smart home revo­lu­tion.

Fu­ture liv­ing will have a ‘less is more’ at­ti­tude. Al­ice where it will be en­tirely ac­cept­able – and ex­pected – for peo­ple not to own many pos­ses­sions at all, but have ac­cess to ev­ery­thing they need on a just-in-time, on-de­mand ba­sis. “That cer­tainly goes for cars, but in­stead of hav­ing to use a ride-shar­ing app, you could use one of the shared elec­tric cars or bi­cy­cles which are pro­vided for your build­ing as part of a main­te­nance fee.” Re­search shows that in just 12 years’ time, more than 60% of the world’s to­tal pop­u­la­tion will live in towns and cities. Plan­ning has to flex to ac­com­mo­date a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and the need to ac­cess em­ploy­ment, health care and other com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties.

From the Gov­ern­ment down to lo­cal towns, we are al­ready work­ing to­wards a more con­nected fu­ture in our homes and cities.

The coun­try­wide roll­out of smart me­ters is just a small part of the changes we need to em­brace for a cleaner, greener fu­ture. These de­vices are be­ing of­fered to ev­ery house­hold in Eng­land, Scot­land and Wales at no ex­tra cost, fast-en­abling mil­lions of peo­ple to take con­trol of their gas and elec­tric­ity and live a more en­ergy ef­fi­cient life­style.

IN 1970, the ur­ban pop­u­la­tion stood at nearly 43 mil­lion. The most pop­u­lar car was a Ford Cortina and the av­er­age house cost £4,582.

IN 1980, just over 44m were liv­ing in ur­ban ar­eas. The most pop­u­lar pop­u­lar car in the UK was still a Ford Fi­esta.

AS of Novem­ber 30, 2018, the UK pop­u­la­tion stood at 67 mil­lion with 81.2% liv­ing in ur­ban ar­eas.

BY 2030, more than 58 mil­lion are ex­pected to live in ur­ban ar­eas.

Al­most 12.8 mil­lion smart me­ters have now been in­stalled in Bri­tain, as we up­grade our en­ergy net­work from an out­dated, in­ef­fi­cient ana­logue sys­tem to a mod­ern, con­nected grid. This drive to­wards be­ing smarter with en­ergy us­age is part of a grow­ing mind­set to­wards sus­tain­able, cleaner liv­ing. It has been trig­gered by a S ur­ban ar­eas. A few decades. bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the way our en­ergy us­age im­pacts the planet and how, sim­ply by us­ing tech­nol­ogy wisely, we can make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence.

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