Six of the top 10 global “smart cities” are based in Europe. A new study anticipates that smart grid technology deployment will deliver $18.8 billion in cost savings in 2021, through reduced energy use and avoided economic costs from emissions. The reduced emissions are equivalent to those produced by nearly 15 million homes annually.
Juniper Research in the United Kingdom has found that European cities are forging ahead with efforts to become smart cities, with 60% of the world’s leading smart cities based in this region. It was found that innovation to reduce congestion and energy consumption were key initiatives across many European cities. Juniper’s top ranking smart cities for 2016 are as follows:
- San Francisco
“When addressed effectively, the impacts of reduced congestion are substantial: higher economic productivity, potential for new revenue streams and services as well as a measurable benefit in reduced healthcare costs”, noted research author Steffen Sorrell.
Juniper’s Smart City Rankings have been compiled following an extensive study of cities around the globe as published in Worldwide Smart Cities: Energy, Transport & Lighting 2016-2021. Some 40 metrics have been evaluated, covering technology, transport, energy, open data and economy.
Singapore a Beacon for Smart City Efforts
The top ranked city, Singapore was found to be a world leader in applying smart mobility policies and technology. Meanwhile, the city’s fixed and cellular broadband services, city apps and strong open data policy led to it taking the top spot for 2016. With efforts to become a ‘smart nation’ fully underway, Singapore serves as a beacon from which other cities can learn best practices.
New Renewables Driving Smart Grids
Additionally, the research found that deployment of smart grid technologies has found its way onto the agenda for cities across the globe. Alongside increased pressure on resources from urban migration, this common goal is driven, in large part, by a shift towards ‘new renewable’ energy sources such as solar power and wind generation. North America and parts of Asia in particular, are showing strong investment in renewable energy technologies.