How can we efficiently and cleanly power smart cities?


#1

Today, more than ever, it’s cities that are deciding the future. Over half of the world’s population currently resides in cities, and the urbanising trend isn’t likely to slow down; by 2030, 60% of humanity will be city-dwellers.

With smart cities and the general population on the rise, one of the major issues facing us is how to power these interconnected cities effectively and efficiently. As a result, many global leaders have publicly asked for a suitable and sustainable answer, one that would support critical infrastructure yet not add to the global emissions challenge. The increasing need for such a solution, coupled with the dropping costs of renewable technologies, has made the transition to a fossil fuel-free environment more likely than ever before. In the last year alone, global renewable energy investment has increased to the point where it’s now surpassing investment in fossil fuels, according to a recent UN report.

From wind to solar, nations all over the globe are utilising this shift to create innovative and energy efficient solutions from natural power. In Saudi Arabia, a $200 billion solar power development has just been signed off, potentially tripling the country’s electricity generation capacity. Over in China – one of the most highly populated countries in the world – the Jiuquan Wind Power Base, also called Gansu Wind Farm Project, was recently approved by the government. The wind farm, which is currently installing capacity of more than 6,000 MW, is projected to grow to a total of 10,000 MW, solidifying China’s ambition to be a global leader in renewable energy.

A lot of renewable power, being weather dependent, is intermittently produced, so cities generating their own power will need smart features – systems that track power production and consumption, balancing them by storing energy for when it is needed and managing demand by offering consumers incentives to use more or less power to coincide with the peaks and troughs of the intermittent generation.

The key smart innovation is, therefore, the smart grid a network of power cables souped-up with digital technology which can track the demand and control the sources feeding power into it, allowing the efficient matching of supply and demand.

What’s next?

Though renewable energy is the way of the future, there are still some concerns about how this will all be feasible, especially as our cities continue to get bigger, smarter and more demanding. Other clean energy technologies such as Fusion Power (http://bit.ly/2QuYQLf) could, however, be the solution to our availability issues.

A strong, efficient, and sustainable future depends on the creation of smart technologies to provide flexibility because, without sustainability, the smart cities we envision are likely to remain closer to fiction than reality.

#AGICHAT #futurism #artificialintelligence #debate #singularitynet #emergingtechnologies #futureofcities #decentralisation #dao #sustainability


#2

Again, as a builder, I find a very high degree of inefficiency in all aspects of power management. I’m not sure I see plugging in massive power plants fusion or otherwise , into these inefficient systems, as the solution. Miniaturization such that a city of moderate size would have a dozen or so independently operating power centers seems to be a more efficient approach , combined with a complete overhaul of useless building codes. The rural issue is slightly easier as the solar, wind, hydro and geothermal applications can be tailored to fit nearly any situation.
I would hesitate to mass produce anything that consolidates power of an entire city into a single source. I would take a sector by sector approach, and incorporate the best miniaturized power centers into infrastructure overhaul plans, for existing aging cities. Building, too often finds itself rushing materials into service, only to require extraction and replacement, due to safety or health hazards. Take our time and do an excellent job. I can feed myself if I do a good job. I can feed many more if I do an excellent job. Do it once, and do it right.
The sight pollution and safety hazard of overhead power lines, has got to go. I would start there. Tunneling technology has many unrealized side benefits as well. Among them, the capture of the motion of the ocean, think (giant ram pump) and geothermal opportunities.


#3

Tidal energy generation has a rather odd side effect btw, it slows down the orbit of the moon due to an increase in the resistance to gravitational drag.

The effect is infinitesimal however, but it is occurring non the less :slight_smile:


#4

The tunneling tech could be utilized in combination with tidal force, for hydraulic purposes, and would be much less invasive than anything that needs to be inserted into the water. Depending on the location, it could serve in place of electric water pumps, or waste ejection pumps. We certainly don’t want to encourage moon displacement, and I don’t like the idea of the wave generators, it seems messy and full of maintenance issues. Inlet/outlets could be placed out where they are for all practical purposes invisible. There’s a pulsating spring in Star Valley Wyoming, that serves as a natural example of the power. Just need to capture the pressure with the plumbing and check valve design. No electric needed.


#6

(LFTR) Liquid Fluorine Thorium Reactors. Nuclear is the only way to provide the base load energy required to power industry and vast areas without Co2 emissions. Liquid Fluorine uses high temp not high pressure to create the reaction and solidifies on cooling so to contain any fallout if failure or operator error occurs. Thorium has a relatively low half life compared to uranium and plutonium and is much less weponisable in the wrong hands. Thorium is also abundant and cheap to extract