Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang, a leading smart grid expert at the University of Birmingham, discusses the vision for future smart cities in an article entitled “Smart Energy Community – The Key of Smart Cities” by the IEEE.
Smart cities will have a transformative effect on every aspect of our daily lives, they will have a positive impact on healthcare and support the effective provision of public services including, information support, transport, energy, water, and waste processing. These Smart cities will also help solve the societal challenges of poor air quality, energy efficiency, urban mobility as well as safety and security.
In the article Professor Zhang explains: “The energy systems for smart cities consist of both Smart Cities’ layer and Smart Consumer’s layer. The Smart Consumer’s layer consists of smart homes and smart buildings, which are considered to be the basic energy cells. The intelligent energy management and control systems, which can measure the energy generation, use and storage within these cells, can be scaled up to form community energy systems, then scale up further to form district energy systems, and finally to form whole Smart City energy systems.”
“In July 2014, we managed to deploy two micro virtual power plant (µVPP) systems in Malmo, Sweden, for a pilot project. It is an exemplary pre-commercial system designed, manufactured and deployed by the joint research endeavours of the University of Birmingham, E.ON UK and E.ON Sweden.”
Finally Professor Zhang concluded: “Community energy systems, which are fundamental energy system cells, can be scaled up to form district energy systems, and finally to form whole Smart City energy systems. In the context of energy revolution = 〖EI〗^3, there are fantastic opportunities to develop low carbon energy systems of smart cities via the Framework of Energy Revolution, namely, “Energy Internet” that efficiently and flexibly supplies electricity to anyone anywhere, “Energy Integration” that solves big energy challenges that explores ways for energy systems to work more efficiently on their own and with each other, and “Energy Intelligence” that can help consumers use energy data effectively so that they can manage their demands by themselves in most effective and efficient manner and improve their consumers’ behaviour in great extent.