As our neighborhoods and city districts evolve through the energy transition, the way consumers of energy interact with utilities is changing. Our urban areas will move quickly towards using much more electrical power to provide building and mobility services, switching away from fossil fuel gas and liquid fuels for combustion processes. Our existing infrastructure approaches for power delivery will be unable to fully adapt to this increase in throughput putting our cities at risk of curtailed growth or power supply and service disruption.
To mitigate these risks we will need our new and old energy consuming assets to schedule operation in a much more smart and forward looking way compared to today’s system, where power can be demanded at any time at the press of a switch. To allow us to reduce peaks in demand and keep our utilities safe, whilst maintaining the comfort and service required, means introducing the ability for these systems to predict upcoming demand, optimise demand profiles across different asset types owned by different organisations and exposed to different tariffs, then act and control those pieces of equipment.
Without this type of smart control our only mechanisms for solving this problem of increasing electrical loads is expensive grid upgrade or the installation of large batteries, these costs come from bill payers pockets so any measure to reduce or remove that required investment reduces our overall cost of running our business and homes.
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