Eric Woods of Navigant Research writes on the importance of the Energy Cloud and meeting city climate goals in an article for WBCSD
In a recent article with WBCSD, Eric Woods, Research Director of Navigant, discusses the Energy Cloud and the global need to address climate goals in the next three to five years.
With the threat of greenhouse gas emissions reaching dangerous levels in 2050, city leaders around the world are committing to reducing cumulative emissions through arrangements such as the Paris Agreement. According to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, most of the infrastructure needed to reduce carbon emissions by 2050 must be implemented in cities by 2030, and the Energy Cloud may be the solution.
“Navigant characterizes this transformation across energy and related sectors as the Energy Cloud. The Energy Cloud represents a radical transformation of energy markets to a more dynamic network of stakeholders, technologies, and infrastructure," writes Woods. “Specifically, it envisions a world in which the power supply is cleaner and more distributed, where digital transformation embraces artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain-enabled networks, and where widespread electrification of transportation means that power supply and demand become increasingly mobile.”
This solution can resolve many aspects of the climate concerns, by improving infrastructure, power generation and distribution, heating and cooling systems, city building energy efficiency, transportation, water and waste management, efficient street lighting, and basic city services.
“At the same time, city operations are being transformed by digital technologies such as IoT, smart buildings, artificial intelligence robotics, and automated vehicles,” says Woods.
Navigant’s Energy Cloud recommends net zero cities transform their energy profile by connecting buildings and transportation to the energy sector, because their proximity to one another in cities will lay the groundwork for the Urban Energy Cloud.
Actionable climate plans, modern urban design and construction, climate goal-minded pilot projects, and are just a few of the recommendations offered by Navigant’s Energy Cloud.
"City governments need to create the conditions under which stakeholders can quickly move from developing a mutual understanding of each other’s needs and challenges to co-creating stable, scalable, and replicable solutions. There is no final endpoint determined by a single, engineered system. These complex environments need to evolve through a process of innovation, monitoring, and continuous learning," says Woods.