The energy and climate challenges will be won or lost in cities. The EU’s 20 / 20 / 20 goals goals (until 2020: 20% less CO2 emissions compared to 1990; 20% renewable energy) can only be achieved by accelerating full deployment of solutions that help answering these challenges.
There are a lot of pilots funded by EU money. So far they don’t lead to a wide, not to mention global, roll out. So what is the sustainability in the pilot solution? It is time to learn from pilots, standardize and transfer solutions to market. There is no need to wait for further technological innovation – it is all there, data is available. Key is to create business models that use information from existing systems.
There are various reasons for the missing scale up: First of all there hasn’t been a driver so far to cluster learnings and standardize solutions. Secondly cities are concerned to get locked into particular vendors. Thirdly industry is lacking knowledge on collaborative work with municipalities. And last but not least industry fears to give up competitive advantage by sharing knowledge cross-industry.
Maybe a way forward is that the EU funding focuses on interfaces, standardization and collaboration rather than further pilots. Maybe subsidies should focus on few but big selected pilots that are the nucleus for standards and collaboration models. Just recently the EU set up a platform to exchange experience on smart city solutions – for cities and industry. Goal is to obtain at least 20 SC solutions that are highly transferable and independent of particular vendors.
Lets closely watch it!