Will smart infrastructure help us achieve Net Zero?

According to the World Bank, the construction and operation of infrastructure accounts for about 70% of human carbon emissions. Therefore, decarbonization is one of the most urgent driving forces of smart infrastructure, and digital capabilities are built into the plant and build environment so that it can be monitored and managed on demand.

recently Understanding Net Zero Thomas Kiessling, CTO of smart infrastructure at Siemens, the event’s sponsor, explained that the deployment of smart infrastructure has barely begun. “About 5% of the buildings are smart,” he said. “We are considering digitizing about 10% to 15% of the energy grid, so there is still great potential.”

According to Keithling, the technology components that enable smart infrastructure have only recently been introduced. “I need the cloud [computing] And for smart infrastructure to work, we need edge IoT. This is now established and widespread, “he explained. “As we are talking about, 5G is being deployed. To provide the large amount of connectivity needed for smart infrastructure, we need 5G to connect. And finally, the digital twins have also taken off. . “

So far, Keithling explained that the digitization of energy grids is more advanced than the digitization of buildings. But the real potential of infrastructure digitization lies in obscuring this distinction, as buildings become more active in the energy grid, powering and responding to fluctuations in supply. Added.

Smart Infrastructure for Net Zero: Building Emissions Initiatives

According to Keithling, about 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions come from buildings, and about 40% of them come from buildings during operation. Kiessling reported that commercial and industrial builders are reducing carbon emissions in two ways. More effective use of energy through digitization and increased use of renewable energy sources.

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On the other hand, there is work to be done to reduce the embedded emissions of the building. It is produced during material extraction and during construction. “In the embedded phase, we need to clarify the essentials of the building project,” he said. “People define the Red List. In the Red List, certain materials are struck through due to high emissions, and the trend is statutory carbon cement, low carbon steel, wood, high mineral wool. We are heading for innovation such as materials. [will] It will improve significantly over time. ”

Link the building to the energy grid

Digitizing infrastructure means being able to connect previously heterogeneous systems through data and manage them globally. According to Keithling, this example is a “grid interactive building” where information from the building is supplied to the energy grid and vice versa. As the building operator adds solar power and energy storage capacity to the facility, the building can feed back energy to the grid as needed.

“”[Grid-interactive buildings] The building’s awareness of the state of the distribution network and the increased elasticity and robustness of the grid alleviated the energy distribution network bottleneck, “says Kiessling. “This will allow the building to act as a node for virtual power plants and contribute directly to the generation of renewable energy, enabling faster deployment of renewable energy and electric vehicles.

“we, [grid-interactive buildings] It will be something like 10% to 15% of the total CO2 reduction. ”

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Pete Swavy is Editor-in-Chief Tech monitor.. Will smart infrastructure help us achieve Net Zero?

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