Introducing the Smart Grid! via Mexico City
Sustainable Cities Net: Posting from the UCLG Congress in Mexico City 18-25 November
A Smart Grid, described by Siemens as the “intelligent network infrastructure” that supports the “systematic optimization of the energy system”, would allow energy production and consumption to become more aligned, reducing waste in energy production and increasing consumption awareness through smart meters, tariffs and smart appliances.
Siemens have erected their Smart Grid Dome in the Plaza Santo Domingo, here in Mexico City. The interior dome acts as a projection screen for a multimedia introduction to Smart Grid Solutions, while touchscreens around the walls divide the information into (roughly) Grid Management and ICT, Renewable Energy, and Scales of Application (Industrial, Commercial, Residential). The information is a mixture of technical specifications, background information, current research, case studies and proposals.
While it may seem like shifting to smart appliances and meters does not reduce the need for “stuff” (and what we do with all the “non-smart” stuff when it’s not wanted anymore), there are opportunities to combine Sharing Services and Product Service Systems (PSS) with smart grids. For example, a smart grid might encourage people to set their smart washing machine to run during off-peak supply for wind power – say at 3 in the morning. In this model, everyone still owns a washing machine. But what if your local laundry service did the same thing – using less resources and energy while creating a central point for water-saving infrastructure? (Local Laundry Service?? Check out this pedal-powered laundry service in Buenos Aires.)
More to come on this…
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