Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amsterdam smart city presentation

Here is a new presentation (Stockholm, November 2009) by Dirk van der Woude, one of the driving forces behind the Amsterdam smart city efforts, which includes FTTH and much more: wireless, smart grid, etc.

The only thing that I just can't get excited over is the smart grid concept. I think we need something much more fundamental than just increased efficiency, even though the first results (14% savings - see slide 25) are impressive.
  • I doubt this is enough. A much more radical approach may be needed, like solar and wind power. My German neighbour is having a new home built, using only thermal power (the refrigerator turned upside down). It takes drilling a 80-100 meter deep hole, but a temperature difference of just 2-3 degrees is sufficient. How difficult is that. And how durable! Contrast that with the cost of building a smart grid.
  • Savings of 14 percent may be unrealistic when the project moves beyond the initial group of trial homes, where people could be quite motivated to cooperate. There are a lot of jerks our there. Go drive on the highway to see how few people are interested in driving economically. Even though many cars these days have a smart meter, telling us that doing 90 km/hr will probably save us at least 30 percent of our as consumption, very few seem to be interested. That's human nature. Still, I hope the trial will prove me wrong. Smart software, added to the smart meter, may help us become better people.

1 comment:

Sammael99 said...

I think the core issue is more fundamental: energy companies have no interest in selling less energy. Things will not change with them at the helm...