Smart grids to save city dwellers $14bn in energy costs by 2022, says Juniper Research

New data from Juniper Research has found that the development of smart grids linked to smart cities will result in citizens saving $14 billion (€11.67 billion) per annum in energy bills by 2022. This is up from the $3.4 billion (€2.83 billion) saving estimated for 2017, resulting from smart metre 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:

  1. Seoul
  2. San Francisco
  3. New York
  4. Portland, OR
  5. Barcelona

“Seoul’s large-scale deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, smart street lighting and smart metre rollouts will undoubtedly accelerate the development of smart grid infrastructure to manage these elements,” remarked research author Steffen Sorrell.

Steffen Sorrell

Renewables & Blockchain 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 $60 (€50.03) 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 currently susceptible to accounting errors and increased costs.

Policy 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, it 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.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

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