Smart energy firms could see a surge in adoption, as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, platforms and off-the-grid technology reduces the cost of power and improves efficiency in a smart city.
Market research group Navigant Research estimates in a report the global revenue of the industry between 2015 to 2024 will be $136 billion. It also expects the revenue to rise from $7.6 billion this year to $20.9 billion in 2024, bolstered in the U.S. and other countries with a strong renewable movement.
“Smart cities are emerging as an important force in implementing the Energy Cloud philosophy across different sectors such as transportation, public and private institutions and buildings, and land use and development,” said Lauren Callaway, research analyst with Navigant Research. “For utilities, this creates myriad opportunities to test and deploy new technologies, services, and business models.”
Energy needs require a special agency?
Navigant Research calls for cities need to develop an agency for smart energy planning and infrastructure. The agency would smooth the issues of interoperability of standards and the alignment between various stakeholders—city leaders, utilities, and private shareholders—that have the power to change the future of the grid and turn homes and enterprise green.
A strong carbon tax and reductions in the cost of renewables may give smart cities an edge on the rest of the country, especially if it lets citizens go off-the-grid and send power back if it has excess. There are worries that business model may kill energy companies however, which must move from a supplier to a trader of energy.
We’ve already wrote about how the IoT could negatively affect renewable energy adoption, by making coal power more efficient and less pollutive, but it could also make renewables even cheaper and a more viable option to some households in the United States.