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This week, GreenBiz outlined five predictions for how the smart grid and smart city industries will evolve by 2020. Top predictions in the article include an increase in grid resiliency and government grid regulation, especially in this era of increasing natural disasters. The article’s author, smart grid consultant Christine Hertzog, also believes we need to redefine “smart city” to include protection by critical infrastructure and increased resiliency as the energy sector becomes more IT dependent. While these predictions are certainly not an exhaustive list, they definitely offer an inside look of how the smart grid will continue to mature.
Coincidentally, this smart city revolution has already taken hold in many areas around the world. Co.Exist, in fact, wrote an article this week looking at countries that have succeeded in becoming “smarter” by ranking the energy systems of the top ten smartest cities. As the piece notes, many countries grapple with the balancing act created by the rival demands of keeping the system affordable, sustainable and secure. Topping the list was Norway for its “exceptional energy security” and its ability to limit resource exploitation. New Zealand and France followed respectively, with the U.S. coming in outside the top ten for what the report found to be “low performance in environmental indicators.” The list, which includes countries from four continents, shows how cities and the energy systems that power them are becoming “smarter” and more sustainable every day.