Weak renewable energy sourcing leaves London in third place after Barcelona in the worldwide smart city rankings
Singapore has leapfrogged Barcelona to be named global smart city 2016 for its expertise in applying smart mobility policies and technology.
Singapore prevailed over last year’s winner Barcelona to land the number one spot in Juniper Research’s annual smart city rankings. The remainder of the top five smart cities were London, San Francisco and Oslo respectively.
The rankings were compiled by the analyst firm following an extensive study of cities around the globe as published in Worldwide Smart Cities: Energy, Transport & Lighting 2016-2021. Some 40 metrics have been evaluated, covering technology, transport, energy, open data and economy.
It was found that Singapore is a world leader in applying smart mobility policies and technology. The city scored highest marks for fixed and cellular broadband services, city apps and a strong open data policy.
“Congestion and mobility are almost universal issues for cities to address”, said research author Steffen Sorrell. “When addressed effectively, the impacts are substantial: higher economic productivity, potential for new revenue streams and services as well as a measurable benefit in reduced healthcare costs.”
2015’s global smart city, Barcelona, was found to be particularly strong with regards to its energy and sustainability policies. London’s score suffered as a result of weak renewable energy sourcing and relatively poor energy use reduction initiatives.
Additionally, the research found that deployment of smart grid technologies has found its way onto the agenda for cities across the globe. Alongside increased pressure on resources from urban migration, this common goal is driven, in large part, by a shift towards ‘new renewable’ energy sources such as solar power and wind generation. North America and parts of Asia in particular, are showing strong investment in renewable energy technologies.
Meanwhile, Europe has seen smart grid progress slow owing to market unbundling which has led to a fragmented distribution grid landscape. Nevertheless, the ‘end-game’ is expected to deliver a market more open to innovation and new services.
Overall, Juniper anticipates that the smart grid technology deployment will deliver $18.8bn in cost savings in 2021. This will be achieved through reduced energy use and avoided economic costs from emissions. The reduced emissions are equivalent to those produced by nearly 15 million homes annually.