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smart cities

Capgemini’s World Energy Markets Observatory report 2017

Capgemini, has published the nineteenth edition of its annual study, which for the first time goes beyond Europe and becomes the World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) report, built in partnership with the I4CE, De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and Vaasa ETT teams. The study reveals that progress in the sector’s generation technologies has caused an acceleration in the Energy Transition, while related renewables growth continues to destabilize the wholesale electricity markets and key players. The study also highlights a profound change in customer energy usage, behaviors and expectations, with, for example, self-consumption, smart homes, smart buildings, smart plants, smart cities and the creation of communities to purchase or manage energy differently.

As a result, the financial situation of established Utilities remains challenging. The report encourages utilities to accelerate their transformation efforts and to leverage increasingly the power of digital transformation.

The three main findings of the 2017 edition of the World Energy Markets Observatory report are:
Rapid evolution of generation technologies makes the renewables penetration unstoppable, thanks to their competitiveness gains, and despite the end of feed-in tariffs in Europe

During the past 12 months, the costs of renewable energies have continued to fall: onshore wind and utility scale photovoltaic (PV) costs are becoming competitive in some countries, compared to traditional electricity generation resources (nuclear, coal, gas). A recent auction for solar PV generation plants recorded a lower cost in sunny Saudi Arabia, with only 17 $/MWh. Battery storage costs decreased also by about 20%. The ingredients now gathered favor Energy Transition with limited political intervention.

According to Colette Lewiner, Energy and Utilities senior advisor at Capgemini, “Efforts in R&D and industrialization are boosting renewable energy development, even when considering extra network investments linked to intermittence and energy generation distribution. Today, their intermittency coupled with the absence of pricing reforms, mean the impact of renewable energy on the wholesale markets prices threatens electricity supply and impacts negatively utilities’ finances.
Empowered smart energy consumers are pushing Utilities to deliver new energy services.

All customers (residential, tertiary or industrial) now expect from their suppliers’ offerings better management of their energy (examples include self-consumption, smart home, smart building, smart plant, electric mobility). With the participation of the customer in energy communities, the way energy is purchased or managed collectively is also now evolving.

For Perry Stoneman, Head of the Energy and Utilities sector at Capgemini, “We observe many Utilities creating new customer divisions that are focused on chasing the Holy Grail: the differentiating services valued by the customer, allowing the development of new revenue streams with better margins. With variations from one country to another, the vast majority of players are moving in that direction, but very few, for the moment, have found the appropriate recipe. Innovation capabilities and agility for a rapid and successful go to market are generally missing.
Established Utilities, heavily hit by Energy Transition and customers’ evolving expectations, have started large transformations. It’s now time to accelerate by leveraging Digital Transformation.

Most of the big players have launched transformation plans that they are executing with a particular attention. This is also the case in North-America, where the Utilities’ finances are less challenged than in Europe, thanks to a lower pace of Energy Transition and different market rules. In addition to simplifying their internal processes, these transformation plans generally focus on the downstream business (networks, green energy and customers’ energy services), designing and managing new operations and business models. Gains could also be sought in the generation side of the value chain. Digital technologies are evolving continuously to provide new solutions (for example Robotic Processes Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, or Blockchain were not available a couple of years ago). The value of managed data – Analytics – remains also largely unexploited.
The World Energy Markets Observatory is an annual publication by Capgemini that monitors the main indicators of the electricity and gas markets in Europe, North America, Australia and South-east Asia, and reports on the developments and transformations in these sectors. This 19th edition, which is drafted mainly from public data combined with Capgemini’s expertise in the energy sector, refers to data from 2016 and winter 2016/2017. Special expertise on regulation, climate challenges and customer behavior is given respectively by De Pardieu Brocas Maffei, the I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics – and VaasaETT research teams.

Source: Capgemini

The 2017 edition of the smart cities summit organized by Fira de Barcelona, Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), closes last Thursday, 17th, its best edition ever. During three days the event brought together over 700 cities from the five continents, 675 exhibitors and over 400 speakers. On its seventh edition, the event was held together with the first Smart Mobility World Congress and registered over 18,000 attendees, a 13% more than in 2016, exceeding the initial expectations.

The show’s director, Ugo Valenti, said “these figures confirm beyond doubt that the Smart City Expo World Congress has become an unmissable annual milestone for everyone invested in the transformation of cities and any company within the urban innovation and solutions industry. There is no other event in the world capable of attracting so many companies, cities and so much talent.

Valenti added that “this edition has proven even further that cities will be key players in defining the future. It is our responsibility to seize this opportunity and use all the means at our fingertips to grasp the full potential of these urban powerhouses.”

On 2017, SCEWC boasted 30,000 m2 of exhibition floorspace with leading international companies such as Alstom, AT&T, Bosch, Cellnex, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Engie, FCC, Ferrovial, Fiware, Hexagon, Huawei, Intel, Mastercard, Microsoft, PTC, SAP, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks, Suez and ZTE as exhibitors.

The event also hosted representatives from over 700 metropolises such as Atlanta, Berlin, Busan, Casablanca, Dubai, Grenoble, London, Lyon, Madrid, Montevideo, Moscow, New York City, Puebla, Québec, Taipei, Tel Aviv and Zheijhang and country pavilions of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Holland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and USA.

World Smart City Awards

Smart City Expo World Congress awarded the city of Dubai (United Arab Emirates) as the 2017 smart city. The Arab Emirate of Dubai’s project to adopt Blockchain Technology at a city scale earned the City award of 2017. The jury valued its effort to lead global thinking and deployment of blockchain technology in applicable government services as well as its commitment to support the creation of a blockchain industry empowering start-ups and businesses.

The event gave six more awards –Innovative Idea, Project, Project Circular Economy, Project Safe Cities, Project Mobility, Project Data & Tech– to Marketplace.city; the city of Buenos Aires’ food care initiative; the Amsterdam Circular Innovation Program; Shenzen’s Traffic Brain; SEAT’s Easy Urban Mobility; and Yanbu’s Smart City Project, respectively.

The SCEWC will be back at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue in November 13-15 2018 for its eighth edition together with the third Sharing Cities Summit, a meeting jointly organized by the City Council of Barcelona and the Dimmons research group of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, with the support of Amsterdam and New York.

This event focuses on collaborative economy and how new emerging models impact the life and economic development of cities. For this reason, SCEWC’18 will dedicate a track to the sharing economy.

Under the theme Empower Cities, Empower People, Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC), the leading international event on smart cities will host on 2017 its biggest edition to date. From November 14 to 16, Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue will gather 700 cities worldwide as well as 675 exhibitors and 420 speakers, all of them record-breaking figures. The event will focus on strategies to empower metropolises and their citizens through active participation, critical reflection, awareness and access and control over important decisions and resources. The event will include the first Smart Mobility World Congress, a summit resulting from the merge of BcnRail, international railway industry show, and the SCEWC’s own mobility track.

During these recent years, the concept of smart cities has been widespread across the globe raising awareness about the need to transform cities and through them the world. Many have agreed that digital technologies and more precisely ICT and IoT are the backbone of the cities of the future and that without them urban transformation would be impossible. But SCEWC will focus on the underlying truth within metropolises: they are run and inhabited by people and these citizens are more so the future of cities.

The event’s director, Ugo Valenti, said that “We believe that the role that citizens will play in the near futures will be crucial. Top-down governance approaches are gone for good and we need to shift the relation between city governments and residents taking it one step further. Never before in history has there been so much talent and creativity concentrated in so little space. It is our responsibility to seize this opportunity and use all the means to grasp the full potential of these urban powerhouses and that’s what Smart City Expo World Congress will be focusing on this edition.”

On 2017, SCEWC will host 675 exhibitors, a 14% increase compared to 2016, over 30,000m2 of exhibition floorspace where companies from every industry within the smart urban ecosystem such as Alstom, AT&T, Bosch, Cellnex, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Engie, FCC, Ferrovial, Fiware, Hexagon, Huawei, Intel, Mastercard, Microsoft, PTC, SAP, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks, Suez and ZTE will showcase their latest solutions.

The event will also gather and representatives from over 700 metropolises from around the globe. Among the cities who will have representatives in Barcelona are Atlanta, Berlin, Busan, Casablanca, Dubai, Grenoble, London, Lyon, Montevideo, Moscow, New York City, Puebla, Québec, Taipei, Tel Aviv and Zheijhang. While the event will also host several country pavilions such as those of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, China, Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Holland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden and USA.

A Hub of Urban Knowledge

A total of 420 international experts will share their insights about how the urban future should address its most pressing challenges. All of them will delve into the future of urban settlements through a conference program structured in 8 themes: Government, Safe cities, Economy, Sustainability, Circular, Society and Data Technology.

Among the speakers feature Robert Muggah, a political scientist specialized in the crossroads between cities, security and technology; Joan Clos, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and former Mayor of Barcelona; Bettina Warburg, blockchain researcher, entrepreneur and educator who works with Governments and members of the Fortune 500 list to drive the deployment of blockchain technology; Dimitri Zenghelis, one of the leading experts in climate change economics, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics; and Beth Simone Noveck, director of the Governance Lab and member of the first Technology Secretariat and head of the White House Open Government Initiative.

Smart Mobility World Congress

One of the key subjects every city has to address is Mobility. The ability to guarantee safe and easy movement both within a city and from one metropolis to another has indeed become one of the cornerstones of smart cities. By 2050 there will be almost 7 billion people living in cities and over the same period of time road and rail travel will double and freight through these same canals will increase three-fold. To tackle the challenges facing cities transport-wise, SCEWC will host the first Smart Mobility World Congress, a smart transport summit that will showcase the most innovative advances in urban and inter-city mobility from companies such as Alstom, Amurrio, CAF or Railtech Sufetra.

The Smart Mobility World Congress will have its own space within SCEWC, where specialist mobility companies will be grouped together, and it will also have its own auditorium for transport conferences, the Smart Mobility Hub. Among the 80 experts in transportation speaking at the conference is Hyperloop CEO, Dirk Ahlborn, who will analyze the impact that this new mode of transportation conceived by Elon Musk might have in consolidating a network of metropolises. The Hyperloop consists of a vacuum tube or network of tubes through which a capsule with passengers can travel at speeds of up to 1,200 km/h.

In addition, the Smart Mobility World Congress will host the annual congress and the 31st General Assembly of the Latin American Metro and Metropolitan Association (ALAMYS), which will bring together urban transport operators and authorities from Spain, Portugal and Latin America and will analyze the benefits of metro and streetcar systems in urban environments.

More than 80% of today’s European population lives in urban centres. In this situation, cities have a crucial role to play in the transition towards a more efficient and sustainable, low-carbon economy, in line with the competitiveness and environmental targets of the EU. Ensuring the quality of life of its inhabitants and developing clean and efficient energy systems integrated into urban strategies, are some of the main challenges that cities of today and tomorrow must addresss so that they can become smart cities. And this is precisely the objective of the SINFONIA project.

With a budget of €43m, the SINFONIA project is funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme which aims to implement integrated energy efficiency and saving solutions that can be applied on a large-scale to medium-sized European cities. The initiative, that started in June 2014, continuing until the end of May 2019, is focused on the cities of Bolzano (Italy) and Innsbruck (Austria), along with a further five European cities that, within the framework of this project, will set an example of sustainability with the energy efficient retrofitting of one thousand apartments.

In round numbers, the project will support the refurbishment of over 100,000 m2 over all seven participating cities; achieve an energy saving of between 40% and 50%; and increase the use of renewables by 20%. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2016

A study by Siemens Financial Services (SFS) assesses the funding potential originating from the private sector so that cities can become smart cities. Apart from large-scale change, cities are increasingly looking to implement smaller-scale, smart projects. By employing asset finance from the private sector, cities can obtain additional financing for their smart transformation.

Via Siemens Financial Services (SFS), Siemens has undertaken a global study in 13 countries to assess the accessible funding potential that the top 40% of cities could raise from the private sector for such small-scale investments known as SmartStart initiatives.

Cities worldwide are increasingly embracing smart transformation through smaller projects with typical costs that range from a few thousand Euros to a few million. Public sector budgets are often insufficient to benefit from the advantages of developing a smart city, which means that alternative forms of funding from the private sector have become a priority. The potential of smart initiatives shows the extent to which asset finance can play a part in the smart transformation of cities. The SFS study estimates that €4.12bn could be funded by the private sector in Spain to promote investments in SmartStart initiatives.Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2016

A Lego model of an Australian city is helping to illustrate the potential of smart technology

A miniature adaptation of South Australia’s capital Adelaide is stocked with functioning smart lighting and parking applications to help demonstrate its effectiveness to local residents. It was built by the state’s largest Lego club Southern Bricks Lego User Group and includes a scaled version of Adelaide’s iconic biomedical precinct, state-of-the-art sports stadium and government buildings.

Adelaide City Council’s innovation and entrepreneurship advisor Paul Daly said the project was used as a way of initiating community consultation.“It’s a way of bringing these concepts to life and capturing people’s attention,” he said. “I have been blown away by the amount of interaction and engagement. It highlights the kinds of technology we are already working on in a way that gives us the ability to figure out what the Adelaide community wants the city to look like as a smart city.


The working model was made using more than 30,000 Lego pieces and took more than 300 hours to put together. It includes built-in interactive technology by US-based company Buddy Platform and students from the University of Adelaide. The Lego city features parking lots with sensors that would direct commuters to vacant spaces, smart street lighting with built-in CCTV and Wi-Fi hotspots and resource management technology to monitor water quality in the nearby river Torrens. It also includes wayfinding stations to help visitors navigate their way through the city and charge their mobile devices.

Adelaide has publicly declared its ambition to become Australia’s first smart city and has already trialled different smart initiatives to bring itself one step closer to its goal. The Adelaide City Council would begin rolling out smart lighting and smart parking early next year with project completion expected for 2019.

Source: The Lead South Australia

The CITyFiED Project, coordinated by the CARTIF Technology Centre and which brings together a further 20 partners with a shared objective, enjoys a provision of €46m of which €26m is funded by the European Commission.Two years after starting work in the district of Torrelago (Laguna de Duero, Valladolid) as part of Europe’s CITyFiED Project (RepliCable and InnovaTive Future Efficient Districts and cities), the implementation of its selected energy efficiency measures is already clear to see. Financed by the VII Framework Programme, its main objective is two-fold: (i) to deliver a replicable, systemic and integrated strategy that transforms European cities into smart cities, focusing on actions to reduce energy demand and GHG emissions as well as the increased use of renewable energy sources; (ii) to address the definition of new business models to implement such strategies in other parts of Europe and thereby accelerate the creation of near zero energy districts.

The district of Torrelago in Laguna de Duero (Valladolid) is undergoing a radical change as regards urban sustainability. Of the three demo sites involved in the CITyFiED project, Torrelago is the largest with 1,488 dwellings and 140,000 m2 of retrofitting area.

With an initial energy demand of 140 kWh m2/yr, the district aims to reduce this figure to around 86 kWh m2/yr, with a contribution from renewable energy sources of around 57%. This is expected to achieve an energy saving of some 39%. Read more…

Susana Gutiérrez y Ali Vasallo
Project coordinators at CARTIF

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

In the last six decades of the 20th Century, the global population has gradually become concentrated into the urban centres, a phenomenon that is dramatically taking place in developing countries at breakneck speed. According to UN forecasts in forty years’ time, the world’s urban population will double, going from 3.4 billion in 2009 to 6.4 billion by 2050. Cities will play a key role in responding to the major challenges of the 21st Century: climate change, social equality, urban development, sustainable mobility, economic development and the demand for greater participation by their citizens. Smart cities change models, consumption habits and the form in which they interact with the environment. Innovation allows us to construct today the society of tomorrow, generating local renewable energy, sustainable transport and even the efficient management of waste and water; and in every case, accompanied by the technology to interactively access information in real time thereby making life easier and more accessible.

All these urban innovation processes are being advanced by major cities such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Vienna, New York, Boston, Medellin, São Paolo, Toronto, Singapore, Seoul and Barcelona. And administrations such as the UK government that, through Future Cities Catapult, has invested €1.6bn in 5 years and the government of India with its 100 Smart Cities programme that enjoys a provision of €6.5bn over 5 years. This is a movement at global scale, with common solutions but in which each city has to establish its road map depending on its own challenges and priorities.
In Mexico the concept of the smart city is currently in its initial stages, offering a wide range of areas of opportunity for developing projects and achieving major results. Mexico must not miss out on this chance to become a country of reference, as it has so many huge multinationals and medium-sized companies that are looking for external markets, as well as due to the country’s potential to attract talent and develop new innovative businesses.

On 16-18 February 2016, the municipality of Puebla is hosting the 1st edition of Smart City Expo Puebla presented as the most important event in Latin America, with an anticipated 5,000 attendees and with 200 cities and 80 companies represented. Smart City Expo Puebla will be the meeting point that is a must for everyone that is one way or another involved in turning our cities more habitable places for all.

Smart City Expo Puebla is Latin America’s international version of the Smart City Expo World Congress, the event of reference for Smart Cities. Its staging is possible thanks to the management of the Federal, State and Municipal Government. The event will also benefit from a diverse range of institutions from different fields that are actively taking part in the organising committee. These include: UN-Habitat; the World Bank; the National Science and Technology Council; the National Congress of Mexican Municipalities; the Mexico Federal Government’s Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Agrarian, Land and Urban Development, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Communications and Transport; the National Institute for Federalism and Municipal Development; the María Molina Institute; the Centre for Research and Economic Teaching; the Secretary for Digital Innovation and Communications of the Municipality of Puebla; the Digital Strategy Office of the Government of the Republic; the Secretary for Tourism of Puebla State; and the Secretary for Economic Development and Tourism in the Municipality of Puebla.

This consolidates and strengthens the objectives of the Smart City Expo Puebla as an increasingly cross-disciplinary event in which society’s different sectors are involved in actions that lead to social good.

The keynote speeches include “The regional and metropolitan dimension in city governance”, “Mobility and the recuperation of the urban space”, “The challenge of equality: people at the centre of the Smart City”, “From ideas to action: instruments for urban change” and “Technology and innovation at the service of the individual”.

Smart City Expo Puebla is the event that will trigger actions for a new management model for Latin American cities, mainly focusing on social equality and generating strategies that will allow every citizen, no matter their social condition, to have access to the same quality and efficient services.

The Rivas Town Hall (Madrid), a member of RECI, the Spanish Smart Cities Network since its creation in June 2012, is firmly committed to progressing the efficiency and sustainability of its municipality through the intensive use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), adopting measures to optimise infrastructures and public services management. Rivas is particularly focused on everything relating to smart street lighting and is already a reference on this subject, not only for other member cities of RECI, but also outside Spain.

Achieving efficiency in the management of municipal offices is one of the municipality’s priority objectives and part of this challenge is the Smart Outdoor Courts project. In structural terms, this project is based on a smar t lighting solution through the end-to-end management of its 7,541 LED technology luminaires. This project demonstrates how ICT and telecommunication structures are an essential component of more efficient management, bringing down consumption from 6.5 GW to 4 GW and reducing CO2 emissions by 990 t/year.

To improve the monitoring and regulation control of the luminaires, a solution based on a Broadband Programmable Logic Controller (B-PLC) control system was chosen that allows the actual power line of the street lighting to be used as a communication system to control and manage the active control units. It additionally allows a broadband telecommunications network to be created on the power grid for other Ethernet applications. Read more…
Carlos Ventura Quilón
Rivas City Council representative on the Technical Committee of RECI, the Spanish Smart Cities Network

Article published in: FuturENERGY November 2015

EE & RE and Smart Cities are two flagship events in the Region which gather key industry players and state representatives for 12th time. Providing foreign investors with an updated outlook on the perspectives for the improvement of energy and cities systems, they are preferred place for new products launches and knowledge exchange.

∙ 5% discount till 10 December on the bare area and free promotional options for the exhibitors which applied participation till 10 December.

∙ Again expected strong international presence (Exhibitors from Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands took part in 2015).

∙ Exhibitor Profile: Energy Efficiency & Built Environment, Intelligent Energy, Renewables: Solar, Hydro, Wind, Geothermal and Bioenergy, Energy Recovery, W2E; Sustainable City Environment and Mobility, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Smart Cities.

∙ Visitors and attendees to be invited: CEOs, decision makers, investors, consultants and experts from different sectors and state administration.

∙ Practice-oriented Conference topics, case studies and discussions on district heating, insulation innovations, geothermal and bio energy, energy and mobility in smart cities, planning sustainable cities, etc.


Quick Links:  Brochure EE & RE  Brochure Smart Cities   Post Event Report 2015 

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