The backing from governments and cooperation from businesses working together will help manage and control electricity and gas consumption, creating sustainable cities around the world.

However, for so called “smart cities” to become an efficient and capable metropolis that are capable of handling the predicted sharp rise in population and energy demand, detailed infrastructures that include legislation to reduce consumption are vital.

John Baekelmans, chief technology officer for Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities program, who is  working with Schneider Electric, said: “The people who are in control [of cities] or who decide on how to expand and how to change the master plan of the city, if they are not convinced or they don’t have an incentive to make their city more efficient and less consuming, it’s not going [to change]”.

“If they are not going to change something dramatically, whether it’s increasing the price of fuel or more tax on your car, you are not going to see a change,” he added.

Mr Baekelmans said: “I think a lot of it rests with regulation and you need to make enough regulations that make people incentivised to start putting some of these [energy efficient] capabilities in place.

“Then help them automate it so that you can make those changes happen in a permanent fashion and not temporarily.

Senior vice president of segment and solution marketing at Schneider Electric, Jo Hart, added that without business cooperation energy efficient cities will struggle to develop.

“We don’t have enough [energy] capacity, so we have two options. We can either build more capacity or we can stop consuming to free up more capacity,” said Mr Hart.

“Freeing up capacity which is an answer to the problem and solves the problem because if we just have to keep building more and more capacity that can’t go as fast as the demands” added Mr Hart.

Both Cisco and Schneider Electric added that energy data management and data sharing will provide cities with information that can increase businesses capabilities of monitoring, managing and reducing energy consumption.

Leigh Stringer

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