Urban generation and smart grids solve the equation between urban development and sustainable growth

Urban growth and economic development have always shared the same element, energy. Cities account for 2% of the planet’s surface area but they consume 75% of the energy generated. If we add to the equation the demographic explosion forecast by the United Nations and the fact that a third of energy is lost in transport and distribution from production centres, the conclusion is that the current production model be exhausted and smart cities will play a critical role in the future. 

The first Smart City Expo & World Congress dedicated to smart cities, organised by Fira de Barcelona, will be held in November in the Gran Via exhibition centre, where it will show how the deployment of smart grids together with the installation of smart meters, the diversification of energy sources ¿with importance placed on renewables- and commitment to the urban generation will enable more efficient and sustainable management of available resources.
These tools will make it possible for cities to stock up on the energy they need, when and where they need it.
Practical cases will be presented to show that the use of these tools has an immediate effect on consumption. In the first 12 weeks of implementation, the smart meter pilot programme in the British city of Birmingham, whose representatives will be at Smart City Expo & World Congress, managed to reduce domestic bills by 60% and cut CO2 emissions by 12 tons.

These advances have a direct effect on urban economies and their capacity for growth, making them more competitive. A recent study conducted by the consultancy firm McKinsey showed how each dollar of gross domestic product generated in Santiago de Chile required 60% more energy than necessary in Helsinki, Finland, despite the difference in environmental conditions and production costs, making Santiago a less competitive city.

The congress will cover the challenges and solutions available in the energy sector on the afternoon of the 1st of December with the participation of keynote speakers such as Lew Fulton, International Energy Agency; Tudor Constantinescu, DG of Energy of the European Union; Livio Gallo, CEO of Enel Distribuzione; Enrique Valer, President of Schneider Electric Iberia & South America; and Daniel López Jordà, Managing Director of Gas Natural Fenosa.

Barcelona, 20th of October 2010