Smart Cities [Polytechnic University of Valencia]

I believe that when we think of the intelligent cities of the future, nobody imagines them with a pollution cloud like those that may exist today in Madrid, Beijing or in many of the great cities of the world.

We’re not on the right track. The UN has already warned us with specific dates and deadlines. If we do not change the way we behave by 2040, climate change will not be reversed. And an example of this are the extreme weather events of last week, for example in Chicago penguins were walking the streets, while in inhabited areas of Australia were at 50 º C. I don’t think this is the future city model we have in mind.

Luckily since the Paris Climate Agreement, governments and administrations are working along the same lines to avoid it. And I think the important thing is that the message is reaching the population, something that other agreements such as Kyoto did not do.

One of the solutions will be moving to electric cars, buses, trams, … and of course the scooters.

There was a bit of discussion two months ago, with the draft Climate Change Act, where the government talks about the cessation of any manufacture of combustion vehicles in 2040 and the ban on driving them in 2050. Now the Balearic Government has banned the driving of diesel cars in 2015.

I think that the first serious step should be urban buses, because they are part of the public sector and the local corporations should look after our health, and they can also face investments that may need some time to amortize.

Then we must think about the users, if we start to buy electric cars and go from thousands of electric cars to millions, it will be possible, if not, it will be very difficult.

What is undeniable is that we must remove pollution from our cities. And the electric car gets it, because they don’t pollute while they’re rolling. In the face of this, someone may tell us what happen with their power source. We must think then:

  1. Electric motors are much more efficient than combustion engines. Even the entire system from power generation to wheel movement.
  2. And best of all, electricity can be generated in many ways. Many of them renewable.

The best way to generate energy in our cities is photovoltaic self-consumption:

  1. The sun tax has been repealed.
  2. Generating energy through photovoltaics is very economical today.
  3. It helps to distribute the energy better, by not generating them in distant plants, we save losses in the system.

We are undoubtedly facing a great revolution in our cities, where electric mobility and self-consumption are safe bets.

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