Cebu needs smart power grid, energy management firm says-A A +A
Friday, September 13, 2013
OF the five critical areas of concern to make Cebu a “smart city”, French energy management company Schneider Electric said a smart grid should be a priority.
Ian dela Rosa, country sales manager-IT business unit of Schneider Electric, pointed out that as more people migrate to the urban areas, the demand for energy will continue to increase, on top of the power businesses need.
“It is important to understand that each city is a unique entity...Every city is faced with similar challenges but priorities will vary. In one city, electricity will be a short-term priority because of power blackouts; in another, electricity will be a mid-term one because of rising costs. But there is one ambition-to make every city smarter,” said dela Rosa.
At present, 61.28 percent of the 4.17 million people in Cebu live in the city. By 2020, it is projected that the population would grow by 5.18 million, of whom 70 to 80 percent will reside in the city.
Aside from smart grid, other equally important areas of concern for a smart city include mobility, water, public services, and buildings and homes.
“Smart infrastructure is the building block for a sustainable Cebu,” dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa was in Cebu for this year’s Xperience Efficiency roadshow held at Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu. The exhibition brought together business, government and community leaders to learn and drive change in today’s energy and sustainability challenges.
The exhibition featured 20 breakout sessions and interactive displays on the latest integrated energy trends and alternative ways that will not only address current challenges, “but also transform how we all work, team up and play,” the company said.
“We envision cities in the country to become smart cities,” said dela Rosa.
The company said Smart City presents an alternative and long-term solution to energy management that cuts across all industries, including data centers and information technology (IT).
As an integrated process, Smart City gives businesses new ways and ideas to save money, increase efficiency, improve competitiveness and drive better performance in the workplace, the company also said.
Dela Rosa said transforming cities in the country into smart cities is attainable, given the high awareness of Filipinos about energy management.
He said what energy efficiency advocates are hoping to see is that this high awareness translates into action and implementation by local governments.
“Collaboration is an effective measure to realize all these energy efficiency efforts,” he said.
Schneider Electric generated 24 billion euros in sales last year, of which 41 percent came from new economies.
Asia Pacific outgrew North America in contributions, posting 27 percent. The company’s North American sales grew by only 25 percent.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 14, 2013.