Technology is key to building resilienceStable economic development, comprehensive public safety, reliable infrastructure, sustainable and affordable housing – these are crucial factors enabling cities to thrive and grow. Cities depend on them to cope with population growth and urbanization across the globe.
Facing the challenge
Urban infrastructure systems and their effective and reliable operation ensure delivery of energy, mobility, water, sanitation and information, on a daily basis and during unplanned or unforeseeable situations. Yet with an ever-increasing frequency, businesses and communities face emergencies such as extreme weather-related events. City leaders have to find a new way of thinking about how to plan, design, build and manage their cities under more challenging conditions.
Siemens enables cities to boost their resilience by bringing international know-how directly to city managers. Our task is to help urban areas become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. We work with public organizations as well as private companies in helping cities, their people, communities and institutions respond to the stresses and acute shocks caused by rapid urbanization, globalization, and climate change. For us, resilience is not only about surviving – it is also about thriving, regardless of the challenge.
Resilient infrastructure is not an option. It is a must!Roland Busch, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG
Avoiding power failureEnergy is the backbone of life in cities, affecting every area of their infrastructure. Water distribution, public transport, communications and medical services for instance all require a reliable and resilient energy supply – it is vital for communities and businesses alike. The overall energy supply in urban areas is diverse and comprises a number of sources and modes: ranging from centralized power plants, to oil and gas for heating, or local power generation and heat networks. However, if a distribution network is affected by severe weather events, millions of customers may lose power and be literally left standing in the dark.
Remote monitoring and energy storage provide back-up supplies
Making urban electricity systems more resilient and sustainable calls for a shift towards distributed, automated and remotely controlled energy systems. Microgrid infrastructure, whereby small, independent electricity or heat grids distribute locally generated energy to nearby customers, can ensure a constant power supply even if the main power grid is under stress. In the event of a major catastrophe at a centralized plant or in the transmission network, microgrids could channel energy to critical services, such as hospitals and other emergency services.
Remote monitoring, the flexible integration of decentralized energy and energy storage devices present opportunities to increase the resilience of energy supply while at the same time improving efficiency and adopting cleaner sources of power. During extreme weather, like hurricanes or other major substation events, mobile resilience transformers can replace units within days rather than weeks. For example, Siemens is providing Con Edison, the utility that powers New York City and local areas, with compact, light and environment-friendly transformers. The mobile resilience transformers allow Con Edison to respond to events in which multiple transformers are impacted and normal spares or system redundancy may not be able to address the issues.