Amsterdam Smart City, Netherlands

Amsterdam_Smart City

Amsterdam Smart City is an ongoing effort lead by Liander, regional grid operator and Amsterdam Innovation Motor (AIM); within a two-year period, fifteen projects will be implemented in the sustainable focus areas: Working, Living, Mobility and Public Space. Many companies such as IBM, Accenture and CISCO are involved in this project or other related ones. For example Cisco will develop the network to connect household appliances to an energy management system; IBM will create the network inside the home, including connecting the home network to the web; Accenture will manage the integration of smart grid technology such as smart meters, oversee the analysis and use of data gleaned from the smart grid buildout, and support other carbon-reducing projects, and Dutch utility Nuon will develop the applications for the energy management system.

Amsterdam Smart City is also partly financed by the European Fund for regional development of the European Commission. For Example Amsterdam has more than 500 km of cycle tracks and lanes, plus 900 km of bicycle friendly roads (60% of the total amount) with speed ramps and a maximum speed of 30 km/h. Amsterdam as a whole city has 740 car sharing spots (200 in the center). 90% of all housing in Amsterdam is within 400 m of a car sharing spot and in the center 80% has a car sharing spot within less than 100 m. The ultimate goal of Amsterdam Smart City is to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2025, a feat that would place it ahead of many other cities in the Netherlands and Europe and, perhaps, attract an increasingly sustainability-minded population.

Several best practices are documented: deploying smart grids, testing smart meters and “smart” energy applications with customers on site is a main area of activity for cities. For instance:

  • Amsterdam plans to invest 200 million Euro in a smart grid, particularly investing in the network mid-level. Distributed energy generation is only possible with intense management, regulation of demand and supply through ICT because renewable sources have an higher variability (think of spikes due to clouds in concentrated photovoltaic, quick variable wind speed, plug-in hybrid and electric car connected to recharge stations, smart appliances in home automation or the security risk in case of attempts to hacker the power grid).
  • The Utrechtsestraat in the Amsterdam city centre will be transformed into a Climate street, the most sustainable shopping street in Europe in cooperation with the local entrepreneurs and several enterprises. Multiple stakeholders are learning which technologies, concepts, approach and forms of cooperation are most successful to make the public space, more sustainable on a large scale. The  following Sustainable Working initiatives are planned: Smart meters & grid, Energy feedback display,  Energy scan trough the Energy desk of the Climate agency of Amsterdam, Smart plugs.  Climate Street wants to test what can be possible with the integration of: energy management systems, solar panels, water management and rubbish disposal, guided by smart grid technology, which prompts items to run on time and with the greatest efficiency. Recently the 39 energy scans in the entrepreneur’s area has yielded measures that make cost reductions of almost € 60,000 per year and environmental savings of 172,922 kg CO2 per year possible. In the last few months the first 19 entrepreneurs received a Plugwise set that was installed in their shop/restaurant, giving them insight into their energy use. The Quby of Home Automation Europe, that is used in the Climate street, recently won the “Smart Grids Innovation Award 2011”.

Amsterdam is also member of the Connected Urban Development (CUD) cities with San Francisco, Amsterdam, Seoul, Birmingham, Hamburg, Lisbon, and Madrid. It’s a leading initiative with CISCO that aims to demonstrate how to leverage ICT, above all high connectivity and collaboration, in order to reduce carbon emissions, delivering innovative, sustainable models for urban planning and economic development.

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