Tech giant IBM and CUNY Ventures of New York have teamed up to form the Smart New York project, which aims to make the Big Apple a global leader in urban solar energy production, market analysis and sustainability. The scheme, which is supported in part by the US Department of Energy, will create a technology blueprint for solar production in the city. IBM will help CUNY Ventures achieve this by developing a model for improving solar production through analytics, enabling New York to become a solar energy hub and export this formula to other cities around the world.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Smarter Cities Initiative, it is dedicated to creating solutions to deal with the expected population growth over the next 40 years. With an estimated 1 million people around the world moving into cities each week, IBM launched this scheme two years ago to help cities tackle insights into data to better manage complexities including unsustainable waste, and unnecessarily high expenses.
“As people migrate to urban centers in greater numbers, demand increases on city infrastructures and resources,” said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions. “Intelligent automation of key services such as energy, water, transportation and public safety is the solution to help meet these challenges. Developing leadership in sustainable resources, as New York is doing with solar energy, serves as a model for meeting citizens’ needs while achieving the operational goals of the city.”
“CUNY faculty helped develop the NYC Solar Map that displays the solar potential of every building in the city,” said City University of New York Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “Now our CUNY team is working with our partners on groundbreaking solutions that can help New York accelerate the adoption of this clean renewable energy.”
From a financial point of view, the venture is also a huge opportunity for growth. IDC Government Insights estimates that the growing availability of intelligent technology solutions will accelerate global investment in smart city technologies to $40.9 billion by the end of the year. New York has also embraced solar power over the past five years, with an eight-fold increase in solar production since 2007.