In the Fourth Industrial Revolution we face a societal challenge in selecting new innovations that will provide reliable and sustainable power to our region for the foreseeable future. What these new systems will look like, what will they cost, how they will be implemented, and what will be the positive and negative impacts are serious questions that we need to address.
Previous industrial revolutions liberated humankind from animal power, made mass production possible and brought digital capabilities to billions of people. This Fourth Industrial Revolution is, however, fundamentally different. It is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.
The resulting shifts and disruptions mean that we live in a time of great promise and great peril. The world has the potential to connect billions more people to digital networks, dramatically improve the efficiency of organizations and even manage assets in ways that can help regenerate the natural environment, potentially undoing the damage of previous industrial revolutions. From the expansion of renewable energy sources to the adoption of cutting-edge energy efficiency and storage technologies, cities have the opportunity to drastically reduce their carbon footprints through the adoption of innovative concepts, products and services.