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Clean Energy Innovations paving the way forward for Smart Cities

In the Indian context, urbanization has been at its fastest. This keeps the consumption and demand for energy at a high at all times. India’s population is about 17.7% of the world population making us the second largest. We consequently become the biggest energy consumer in the world after China (as of 2019 statistics). The global increase in the consumption of energy which was lead by renewable resources and natural gas.

The world is changing rapidly around us and in terms of the environment as well. Innovation and invention are born out of necessity and adaptation to changing times. Similarly, we are affecting the climate and nature around us through our habits and use of the resources of the planet. 

In the Indian context, urbanization has been at its fastest. This keeps the consumption and demand for energy at a high at all times. India’s population is about 17.7% of the world population making us the second largest. We consequently become the biggest energy consumer in the world after China (as of 2019 statistics). The global increase in the consumption of energy which was lead by renewable resources and natural gas. All fuels, evidently, grew slower than the past 10-years, nuclear energy being an exception. According to studies, last year, primary energy consumption slowed by 1.3% (2019) from 2.8% (2018). India along with Indonesia, behind China, are the biggest drivers of energy consumption growth, globally.

While energy consumption continues to be the concern globally, urbanization that brought upon this crisis is of interest. Research says that almost 70% of the world's population will be living in urban areas by 2050. Urbanization in India rapidly began when Smart Cities were introduced. The National Smart Cities Mission by the Government of India is an urban renovation and refitting program. In this program, the aim is to make cities citizen-friendly and sustainable. This means that cities will be equipped with technologically advanced systems helping authorities in providing better services. The launch in 2015 of the Smart City program across 100 cities, various strategies is applied for various developments that will affect our consumption of natural and renewed resources. All the optimal use of resources is promised at pocket-friendly costs for which the Government will provide financial assistance. The key highlight of these Cities is to make them as environmentally sustainable as possible, the real mission to be climate-friendly in every aspect. 

Apart from urbanization, the growing population and the fast adoption of the internet across India are major concerns in energy consumption. The demand for energy in households and businesses are seeing a steep rise. Many offices are now shifting to data centres that are traditionally known to consume maximum resources. These kind of businesses that support our presence on the internet and other necessary evils are in the need for resolve. This is where clean energy plays a crucial role. It's innovation and rapid expansion can be key to becoming sustainable and maintain a low level of energy consumption without directly affecting actual usage. We can consequently protect the planet and curb climate change. 

There are 5-types of clean energy resources solar energy, hydropower, wind energy, geothermal energy, and biomass. Following are the ways in which Smart Cities will change the way we live sustainably. 

  • Households on an individual level can make a gradual shift to make sustainable choices such as recycling, wastage control and food habits that are more beneficial to the environment. 
  • Network and phone companies can provide services with the help of clean energy. Use sources that continue to give consumers feasible options to track their energy usage and control their electricity consumption.


  • Many technologies that will benefit the environment and are easily adaptable: 



  • Solar Panels: They can be used in individual households, building complex and societies, business and factory outlets, big manufacturing units as well as of sailboats used for leisure. 
  • Geothermal heating & cooling: In tropical climates like ours, these solutions are also accessible to individual households as well as big properties. The developer of real estate projects and shopping malls can highly benefit from these solutions.
  • Smart controller appliances: These appliances also come with an energy consumption mark that shows you how much power is used for running a particular appliance. We can make smarter choices while shopping for such needful appliances
  • Energy-efficient lighting: Smart lighting is a thing for interior designers, is a myth. Major lighting companies have introduced and heavily invested in making smart lighting solutions for all kinds of needs. It is also made for all kinds of households. They are also made to appeal to your room aesthetics and exude warm and soft lights that also save energy. 
  • Electric Vehicles: Major global investments are being made for innovating and making such transportation easily available at a cheaper cost. This is so people can adopt an electric lifestyle more efficiently and without compromising on the quality of output. Public transport solutions are also being made so that the economy and the community at large can benefit from it.

Smart cities are key in making nations sustainable and in reducing their CO2 emissions. Thus adopting a smart lifestyle with sustainable solutions is becoming key. Smart cities are based on advanced systems of hardware and software for the mutual exchange of energy and information. This exchange of information and power happens between the supply and demand side for efficient, flexible, and resilient services. These are combined with different factors such as generators, distributors, technology developers, and consumers via intelligent networks.

The efficiency of energy consumption needs to be improved because of which emissions from energy generation will be reduced, namely from coal power plants. Agility in balancing supply and demand of energy via smart meters and related technologies will help promote renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy, which are highly adapted globally. This helps reduces the abuse of polluting fossil fuels which are also depleting swiftly. Making urban infrastructure smart and electric supports development by deploying vehicles, for example, which do not emit pollutants, unlike traditionally. 

It is exciting to see smart cities around the world and the innovation each has created with solutions that are agile and easily resolved with small tweaks. In India, such solutions can also be adopted and are being used in recent projects so as to be the smartest among others. This competition is healthy and brings to the fore solutions that many of us can benefit from.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house