More and more, our dependence on fossil fuels is behind us. In April 2019, for the first time, renewable energy generating capacity surpassed coal, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Renewables are a $64 billion market in the United States, which accounts for 11% of energy consumption. Solar energy is a large part of this consumption, as one of the top two sources of new electricity generating capacity in the United States.
Innovations in renewable technologies promise true energy independence. Bringing these innovations to market requires careful planning, collective commitment and coordinated action with private and public entities pooling their best minds and resources.
“As we continue to navigate the pandemic and a rapidly changing environment, we recognize that next-gen technologies have a big role to play, in both recovery and future resiliency,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “There’s a significant opportunity to make smart investments in digital infrastructure that supports clean energy, community development, adapts to change, enhances public safety and delivers better, faster services to citizens.”
A big proponent of smart-city initiatives under Gov. Doug Ducey, Watson shared insight on the work being done to elevate the Greater Phoenix region as a smart city.
“Nearly a year ago, in November 2019, the Connective Smart Region Consortium was launched, bringing together 18 cities and towns across Greater Phoenix, along with county, industry leaders and academia to form the nation’s first and largest smart region,” Watson said. “Shortly thereafter, the Southern Arizona Smart Region was also established. To unify these efforts, the Arizona Commerce Authority has formalized an MOU between these two smart regions and will continue to broaden the reach to ensure every community in Arizona plays a role and benefits from this work.”
The Connective Smart Region Consortium is just one example of the many exciting initiatives being advanced in our state. Other smart-city initiatives include the Institute for Augmented Mobility, the AZ SkyTech Program to enhance drone technology, the fintech and proptech sandbox testing programs, ASU’s new Global Futures Laboratory, UArizona’s new Center for Quantum Networks, Maricopa Community College’s blockchain and AI certification programs, the nation’s first college of security and intelligence at Embry Riddle, the launch of the Arizona Cybersecurity Team, the development of Arizona state-broadband plan, 5G deployment, and so much more.
“Our state is home to many visionary thinkers and industry innovators at the forefront of these breakthrough technologies,” Watson concluded. “Gov. Ducey, the ACA and its partners are focused on a mission to ensure that Arizona remains the best location to innovate and to compete on a global scale.”
Visit www.aztechcouncil.org/2020smartcity to view the complete recap blog of the Arizona Technology Council’ s 2020 Smart City + IoT Conference.