Decades ago, in the quest of transforming the cities into a technological arena the role of environment had gone unnoticed. But fortunately, today people across the globe have become cognizant of the impact of global warming, constantly changing climates and other adverse environmental conditions which are today signs of warning but tomorrow may turn out to be more severe.
Nonetheless, there is an opportunity in the long run in the face of renewable energy which can efficiently reverse these unappealing conditions. The decision-makers of the developed as well as developing cities are taking beneficent measures to lead cities to 100% renewable energy usage. Yet, the path between is not easy. It is brimmed with ample challenges. What are these challenges? Let’s have a look on what the big cities are up to with their renewable agenda.
The Challenges Faced By Smart Cities
Renewable energy is available in the form of geothermal energy, wind energy, solar energy, biomass energy and tidal energy. But the fact is, every region has its own unique geographical limits, climatic conditions and the accessibility to a particular renewable resource. For instance, from 2010 to 2014 Netherlands was able to increase the take up of renewable energy by just 1.8%. Partially the reason being the flat and sub-sea level landscape.
On the other hand, switching to renewable resources means giving an urban area entirely new energy shape. Every building, transport and other utilities require a reconsideration on the primary level. Basically, a rigorous and holistic approach towards setting up the usage is enormously required.
Alongside, there exists factors like sustainability of energy and economy. If a thorough planning is needed to supply renewable energy to the society, a parallel planning is inevitably needed to sustain the maintenance of that energy. This includes investments up to billions of dollars, economic stability and man power. This isn’t a hard task to surmount if the collaboration among the companies and municipalities is carried out effectively.
The Dream Project To 2030
At the global level, every nation and its cities are thriving towards a goal yet to be achieved. This goal is of green environment, cost-effective clean renewable energy and marked reduction in carbon emissions.
Here are some of the potential regions of the world aiming at empowering their cities with a better healthier place to live in by 2030.
- USA – The nation has always proved its capability to the world in all spheres of progress. Back in 2011, the country initiated a program identified as ‘SunShot’. This initiative aims at making US a solar superpower. It began with solar electricity supply by less than 0.1% and today the percentage has reached a hike of 1%. This shows the renewable power is witnessing new levels of horizon in US. They are about to hit the 2020 target of achieving $0.06 of cost per kilowatt-hour for solar power consumption scale. All the more, 2030 target is to subside this cost to as less as $0.03 per kilowatt-hour. This is in fact far more less than the cost of fossil fuels. Again in 2015, the government announced that US requires a reduction in use of fossil fuels by an exponential growth of renewable energy. The next goal set was to generate 20% of electricity from the renewables excluding hydroelectric resources.
- Dubai – The energy policies of UAE intend at regulating the primary energy sources and its consumption. At the same time, stimulating the use of solar power for desalination of water(for household consumption). The government aims at establishing an equilibrium between green environment and the economic needs. UAE has set the goals to switch
50% of its energy sources to renewables by 2050. For the same, it is investing $163 billions in the upcoming energy projects. In 2015, Dubai commenced a new project named as ‘Shams’(It means Sun in Arabic). This project started with a vision of having solar panels on every rooftop of the Emirates. By far, more than 300 large buildings in
Dubai have been accommodated with solar panels for energy utilisation. At present, according to World Bank’s list, UAE stands at eighth position based on its per capita greenhouse gases emission. The progress clearly exhibits that UAE is all set to outperform the 2030 objective.
- Amsterdam – The port of Amsterdam has pledged to liberate the city from coal consumption by 2030. It has already paved the path by promoting start-ups and investments in clean energy. Currently, coal consumption has seen a 7.5% fall and further aims at dropping down to 29% in the coming five years. The port is constructing a 100,000 square metre solar array which is to be completed by 2020. Furthermore, the city established the Energy Atlas Service in 2014. This project is in discourse with the ‘Transform’, an all Europe program of smart cities development and low-carbon emissions. The Energy Atlas Service paves way to availability of energy production and consumption data. It answers the queries of renewable energy supply, demands, future possibilities and opportunities which can help in leading the city towards 100% clean energy usage.
- Australia – The country is ranked as 13th largest economy of the world. Australia has given the world a distinguished vision towards providing qualified health, environment, education, economic freedom and ultimately the life. According to several reports, Australia has high potential of transforming energy into 100% renewables. This was observed feasible and functional at the economic level. Australia too aims at converting 23.5% of conventional power generation into clean energy consumption by 2030. The main sources of attention are wind, solar and hydroelectric energy. However, due to recent energy crisis, the government is said to have faced opposition from federal labours on account of 2030 target. The labours deny to legislate the policy. Despite the fact, government is laying down new renewable policies for a better future. Currently, Australia is on the path of reviewing the climate policies.
Why Is Renewable Energy So Important?
Rise in population has resulted in increased use of presently available energy. This energy comes from the combustion of fossil fuels. Nearly 70% of carbon dioxide is emitted out from cities. Due to the fact, 70% of the cities around the world are suffering from the negative impact of climate change. Besides, more than half of the cities are situated on the coastal region, which is why the danger from rising sea levels and storms is ever increasing.
As a matter of fact, excessive energy using habits have lead us to high levels of air pollution and noise pollution. World Health Organisation reports that 90% of urban people are dealing with highly contaminated air levels.
What Will Save The Future?
As per IRENA(International Renewable Energy Agency) by duplicating the contribution of renewables in the global energy mix by 2030, millions of job opportunities and improved health conditions will tremendously rise and give an impetus to global economy. It is estimated that renewables will help economy boost up to USD 1.3 trillion.
The renewable energy and energy efficiency hand in hand are ready to shape the future growth of smart cities. The energy goals accomplished will offer citizens clean energy at affordable prices and a refreshing global ecosystem which will remain under manageable circumstances.