How Modern Cities Can Become Energy Efficient

1255 WordsJul 11, 20186 Pages
The nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan revealed the fragility of highly centralised energy systems that are not adapted into complex societies. Some technological solutions such as carbon dioxide capture or shale gas could even turn out to be mere illusions in the future. Meanwhile, energy costs are increasing every day, with social consequences. As a result, there have been calls for strong involvement of local authorities in formulating energy policies for cities. This will give rise to a more prominent place to decentralise policies on the basis of energy efficiency, energy savings as well the use of renewable energy. It is widely anticipated that the implementation of these policies by the relevant city authorities will play a…show more content…
The second method is conducting regular energy audits and retrofits. Cities can conduct energy audits on all buildings they control in order to inventory current energy costs as well as identify the most affordable and efficient retrofits. The third method that cities can adopt in order to achieve high performance buildings involves implementing green building standards. According to sustainablebusiness.com, these standards help existing buildings become more energy efficient while also ensuring that future buildings will be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Thirdly, cities should shift from conventional energy grids to smart grids. Upgrading the grid is one of the most significant investments in infrastructure that cities that can undertake. Smart grids use digital technology to react in real time to grid load fluctuations, blackouts and price spikes; by transmitting signals to customers’ homes and appliances requesting them to reduce energy use during these periods (Mazza, 2005). Advanced grids even incorporate power sources so that they are able to moderate loads coming from each source based on cost and availability. In summary, the advantages of smart grids include: improving energy efficiency, improving cost savings and providing consumers with extensive information on pricing and usage. Bailey (2006) argues that smart grids are pivotal in countering terrorism because they can be used to provide backup power in case of external

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