The German state of Hesse is working with global tech powerhouse Siemens to build the first eHighway on a public highway in the country, with an overhead contact line for electric freight transport on the A5 autobahn. Expected to be completed at the end of 2018, this new highway will help solve the issue of climate-neutral freight transport by road in Frankfurt, cutting energy consumption in half and reducing local air pollution.
Livermore, California became the inaugural community in The Capacity Project, a new initiative from Chevron and WattzOn to help provide sustainable local economic growth, help residents save money on power bills and help the local workforce gain skills for careers in cleantech industries.
Public safety may be a primary reason for street lighting initiatives, but a number of cities are finding that advanced lighting technologies can lead to very significant energy savings.
A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab says super-efficient air conditioners can provide a significant boost for regions dealing with increasingly high energy demand. The study found that air conditioning efficiency can be improved as much as 20 to 40%.
Microsoft knew the buildings on its 500-acre campus were incredibly energy-inefficient, but its engineers didn't care for the $60 million-plus estimate for a traditional fix or the disruption it would cause. So with dedication, the help of a few vendors and off-the-shelf Microsoft software, a company engineering team came up with a solution that is now saving millions in energy costs.
David Bartlett, VP of Smarter Buildings for IBM, is very clear on several points. Among them: One of the best ways to build smarter cities is to start with smarter buildings. But he says that's something we're not doing very well – yet.
It's unlikely that many small rural villages get a lot of visitors from countries as diverse as Korea and the U.S., but little Feldheim, Germany does. And the visitors aren't coming as tourists. They want to find out how the village (population: 125) became Germany's first and so far only village that can say it's entirely energy self-sufficient.
It may seem strange that the United Arab Emirates, which boasts the world's seventh largest oil and natural gas reserves, is pushing ahead with a very expensive experiment in renewable energy and urban sustainability.
The city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Boston University are working with IBM to find new, smarter solutions to persistent urban challenges, including traffic congestion and streetlight management, energy efficiency, major event coordination, and water/sewer and airport management and maintenance.
The small city of Alba Iulia in central Romania is undergoing big changes, attracting the most European funds in the country for projects that are helping to seriously boost tourism. First on the list: the restoration of the 18th century Alba Carolina citadel. Twenty projects alone were devoted to rejuvenating the tourist attraction, and now the city is using the rest of its regional development funding to improve infrastructure, building roads, bike paths and additional tourist attractions.