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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Smart Grid Initiatives Reach $10.7B Savings Annually

What strategies are being employed in leading smart cities? What are the key trends shaping the smart city landscape? And, what is the value of cost savings that can be expected from smart city projects? These are the questions that were asked during a new global market study, and an assessment of the resulting findings.

Juniper Research has revealed the top ranking Smart Cities globally for 2015. They are (in order of rank), Barcelona, New York, London, Nice and Singapore.

The Juniper Smart City Rankings have been compiled following an analysis of the Smart capabilities offered in each city, with particular focus on their use of smart grids, smart traffic management and smart street lighting.

Furthermore, the ranking considered other aspects of a Smart city -- such as technological capability and social cohesion, among others.

It was found that the leader, Barcelona, performed consistently well across all metrics and serves as an exciting model of success from which others can learn, bolstered by strong environmentally sustainable initiatives.

Other leading cities, such as New York and London, still require greater emphasis on implementing environmentally positive projects, despite excelling in areas such as technological capability and a willingness to engage with citizens through open data.

The Global Call for Smarter Grids

Juniper’s latest worldwide market study has found that smart grid initiatives will achieve $10.7 billion savings annually by 2019, through a combination of reduced energy consumption and emissions reductions in smart cities.

According to Juniper's assessment, the reduced emissions are equivalent to those produced by the annual consumption of 130 million barrels of oil.

The study also found that, despite substantial differences in energy market regulation and policy, there is a strong desire on a global scale to implement a smarter grid.

National energy concerns, caused by emissions reduction policies, transmission line loss and grid reliability are among the numerous drivers behind the need to transition to a 2-way electricity transmission grid.

"Issues such as grid cybersecurity and winning over the consumer where smart metering is concerned still need to be addressed," said Steffen Sorrell, research analyst at Juniper Research. "Education is key, certainly in terms of stakeholder information sharing as well as promoting the full benefits of a smart grid beyond a vague notion of a reduction in energy bills."