The term “Smart Cities” has been around for a while. As new technologies have emerged the very definition of a “Smart City” has evolved as well. The various ecosystems and infrastructure required to support a city are often as complex as the technologies being developed to improve them. Among those components, perhaps the most important building blocks of a Smart City are the energy and water grids.
AT&T helped to create Internet of Things solutions, such as our work with Hydropoint, to address these issues and the aging water infrastructure in cities.
According to a recent McKinsey report, 60% of the world’s population—about 4.7 billion people—will live in cities in 2025. Considering that cities already represent three quarters of energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide, it is clear that significant benefits are to be gained from improving how energy is delivered and used in cities, with technology playing a key part.
The recent #SMARTer2030: ICT Solutions for 21st Century Challenges report finds that technology solutions can enable the integration of renewable energy onto the electricity grid and improve efficiency along the way. Further, these “Smart Grids”, along with analytics solutions and advanced energy management systems, generate $0.8 trillion in new revenue opportunities and can abate 1.8Gt of CO2e by 2030 – that’s equivalent of the energy it takes to power 164 million homes.
To realize these benefits in the future, the pieces must be put into place today, and here at AT&T we are doing our part. We recently formed a dedicated Smart Cities organization to further expand our leadership in this rapidly growing space. The group is already helping communities solve problems by connecting things like utility meters, street lights, and water systems. In fact, the AT&T network currently manages data from 17 million smart meters in the U.S. alone.
As for water, trillions of gallons of water a year are lost through leaks in part due to “leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters” and an average of 25% of water produced never reaches end users because of leaks and water main bursts. AT&T helped to create Internet of Things solutions, such as our work with Hydropoint, to address these issues and the aging water infrastructure in cities.
Intelligent energy and water grids are two important pieces to the Smart City puzzle that AT&T is working every day to build.