What developments will shape the cities of tomorrow the most?
The cities of the future will be shaped by digitalisation, decentralisation, partial dematerialisation and, above all, networking. The reasons for these developments are that we need to become more efficient, sustainable, resilient and cooperative to secure our future viability. All of these aspects are already influencing and changing the energy industry today.
How important will the role of energy be in the smart cities of tomorrow?
There can be no smart cities without a reliable and sufficient supply of energy. Smart cities will aspire to be sustainable but will also consume huge amounts of energy at the same time. We will utilise the opportunities offered by automation and the integration of digitalisation to a much greater extent and thus not only become much more efficient but also generate additional consumption. Therefore, we require an urban Energiewende. The competition for space and high demand for energy per square metre in cities make this transformation very challenging. It is also for this reason that the process should run hand in hand with urban planning and the residents.
What do energy companies need to do for their customers in urban areas?
The task of the energy supply companies and municipal utilities will be to shape the urban Energiewende. At the same time, they need to update their business models for the future and adapt them to the changing nature of public services and the associated demand. We view the supply companies as the city managers of the future. Until then, the task is to protect the interface to customers and accompany them into the future with suitable sales solutions and services. Those companies who are reliable and forward-looking should be able to defend their position against new players.