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How smart grids can build more intelligent cities

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If the world's largest cities hope to become energy-efficient and utilize the most advanced tools for energy generation and distribution, it will be crucial that they not only increase the reliability of critical infrastructure, but have a firm understanding of demand and consumption trends that can be used to optimize how utilities manage power.

Urbanization is real. Each week, an estimated 1 million people around the world move away from rural areas and into cities, according to Intelligent Utility. Experts say this trend is expected to pick up until the urban population of the world doubles to 6.4 billion in 2050 - 70 percent of earth's projected population. Seeing as cities consume 75 percent of the world's energy and generate 80 percent of greenhouse gases, a smart grid just may be one of the most important developments of the century.

According to the media outlet, utilities are addressing the growing fears over energy consumption by developing an advanced system of smart grid technologies and intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) such as sensors, meters, digital controls and analytics tools to keep track of power peaks and troughs. This data will ultimately help the electricity providers reduce the risk of system failures.

Some of the most promising smart grid developments are occurring in progressive countries like Brazil, where state officials are investing huge amounts in the smart grid to improve the reliability of its extensive electric infrastructure, create new economic opportunities and promote environmental awareness. If the current models for electricity demand hold true, Brazil's smart grid investments will hit $36.6 billion by 2022, the news provider stated.

As the country readies for a period of major smart grid deployments, which will allow utilities to better monitor consumption, add resiliency to the grid and improve customer service, utilities are working to deploy about 63 million smart meters and sensors by 2021. These deployments will allow utilities to remotely detect surges in demand and power interruptions, and also help curb the amount of electricity theft in the country.

As the cities of tomorrow begin to take shape, SUBNET will offer a host of products and solutions that will greatly help utilities collect, manage and analyze the untold amounts of data that will be derived from these millions of IEDs. 

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