Cities stand as the most advanced social engineering example of human kind. They have been the very centre of development, welcoming change, offering opportunities, and spreading (social, economic, political, and now technological) growth throughout the world. Therefore, it is understandable that the first step to build the sustainable future will start from cities in our country.
A smart and solarized city reflects power for all, a better network of technologies, and free from the shroud of pollution. Since all of these reflections go well with world’s environment conservation choices, solarizing cities seems the most important step to take to lay the foundation of a sustainable future.
Solving the Energy Crisis
Functional advancements that make a city smart, like- traffic systems, intelligent logistics, data security, and environmentally compatible buildings, are all connected with energy. Therefore, the only way to improve and advance a city is to change its energy usage processes.
Since conventional energy is limited, the smart energy solution to build a bigger, better, cleaner, and sustainable future has to be green energy (solar especially). With population rising (7.6 bn in 2018 globally), and most of the population is concentrated in the cities, solving energy crisis has become the most important issue to focus on, least it reaches to such level that no change can take hold permanently. Besides, cities of the world consume two-thirds of the world’s energy, generating and polluting the world with 70% of the global greenhouse gases of the total generation. Therefore, reducing green gas emissions in cities have to be considered along with solving the energy crisis. And since opting to solar energy offers solution to both these issues, it is the best option to go with.
Smart Cities are The Future
Developing countries like- Middle-East, Africa are focusing on renewable energy solutions to leave the shadows of conventional energy and build a brighter future. The market size of smart cities is estimated to USD 757.74 Billion by 2020.
Preference towards better transport, saving water, and managing other resources within countries, portray smart cities as the future we dreamt of.
What Green Energy Cities Offer?
To invest in the dream of developing smart cities, we obviously need to have a clear understanding of what it can bring.
Clean Energy Generation and Consumptions: Developing countries like Philippines, Morocco, Africa, and India are still facing energy deficits, that result in power cuts. Our conventional energy dependability has not successfully offered us abundant energy till now (200 million live without electricity in India), but green energy (especially solar) promises to make up for it and more for our future. With clean energy consumption, cities will easily be able to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, with solar energy, cities would be able to make their own energy, reducing the real estate requirement as well.
It Infrastructure Growth: With a better energy supply, application and usage of technology in daily life would increase, thus offering better connectivity. Interconnectedness is going to be the future. However, it cannot be attained without a stable and cheap energy supply. Since fossil fuels are limited, with time their cost will rise, making running the technology too expensive. However, solar energy being renewable, will gradually become cheaper (already hit $0.05 in India), allowing innovation and 24×7 connectivity and convenience within smart cities.
Restoring the Environment: Daily CO2 emission levels (globally) have reached to 406.47 ppm (parts per million). So, only by phasing out fossil fuels and adopting green clean solar energy, world would be able to restore the environment. And turning cities into solar cities would be the best way to go about it. In 2016 global fossil fuel investment stood at $130bn, and it would considerably reduce by opting solar energy in the cities, thus saving the countries billions of dollars from conventional fossil fuel import.
India is Going Ahead
Research shows that within 2050, more than 66% of the global population will be concentrated to the cities. Therefore, development of smart cities is not only the right decision. And India is moving ahead with its own plan that aligns with this outcome.
Government of India has plans to build 109 smart cities in India. And green energy generation is one of its primary transformation components. The idea to develop smart cities is a decisive one to increase green energy generation and usage within country.
So far, Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country is mandated to get 13 smart cities, while Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat will get 12, 10, 7, and 6 smart cities each. The Government of India has also made announcements toward offering fund worth 500 crores INR (per city) for smart city development venture.
However, the efforts have to be increased to match the rise of pollution and population. A greener, cleaner and energy rich sustainable future is at last in sight, and now India have to make an effort to reach it.