Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, a percentage that is set to further increase in the next few years. It is becoming increasingly necessary to reflect on the concept of the “smart city”, with a view to identifying sustainable solutions to reduce urban pollution and the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In this light, energy and mobility play a key role, as was explained in a report published recently by the World Economic Forum and co-authored by Enel CEO Francesco Starace, acting as co-chairman of the Steering Committee.
The new World Economic Forum report gives a detailed outlook of the unprecedented opportunity offered by the combination of energy and mobility
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO
Opening with a discussion of the opportunities that technology can offer today in the world of electric transport, the report identifies a model that integrates sustainable mobility with other distinctive elements of “smart cities”, including the production of energy and decentralised electricity storage systems, smart grids, energy-efficient buildings, and the digitalised management of networks and urban services.
Drafted as part of the “Grid Edge Transformation” WEF project that Starace promotes with other eminent figures in the energy sector, the report suggests three lines of action. Firstly, it is necessary to identify a specific approach for the reference market, one that maintains local features (infrastructure, urban design and transport patterns), whilst involving all those individuals who are essential in order to ensure an effective design i.e. national and local decision-makers, vehicle manufacturers, energy companies, urban planners and mobility service operators.
Secondly, it is necessary to promote electric mobility for the most commonly used vehicle types: public transport, taxis, and cars involved in car-sharing initiatives to name just a few. Lastly, it is essential that the development of a public charging infrastructure is promoted, helping to further establish a culture of e-mobility and raise awareness of its value. The electrification of modes of transport, as stressed by Starace on several occasions, will be beneficial for the environment, the energy system, urban mobility, and above all for city dwellers, who will be able to enjoy its benefits in terms of costs, health and quality of life.
The report also examines how these strategic choices, already implemented in the real world in virtuous models, for example in the city of Oslo, can be adapted to different urban environments such as Paris, San Francisco and Mexico City. In the report, Starace and Jean-Pascal Tricoire, co-chairman of the Steering Committee, write that this is “an unprecedented opportunity” made possible thanks to the effective pairing of energy and mobility.
Click on the following link to read the report:
Enel editorial staff