This presentation starts with highlighting the staggering energy loss in electricity generation and transportation. The mega cities—those with population more than 10 millions—are the centers of demand. Currently there are below 20 such cities worldwide. By 2050 there will be approximately 60 such cities. To cope up with such increase in demand centers, current grid must be upgraded and efficiency must be enhanced greatly. Few recommendations have been made in this presentation. It is obvious that without a smart grid, which allows integration of distribution generation sources, it will not be possible to meet future demands. To be more specific, the visualized smart grid has to be interconnected by a communication fabric reaching every device, and highly instrumented with advanced sensors and computing. Some other characteristics are: enhancing efficiency, engaging customers, ensuring reliability, and enabling renewables & electric transportation. Next the slides present the vision of transforming the University of Minnesota's Twin City's campus into a SmartGridU. Lesson learned and key messages are: considering all parts together (holistic systems approach), focus on benefits to cost payback, remove deficiencies in foundations, university used as a living laboratory, and leveraging education and research to invent new solutions.
These lessons learned can be utilized for bigger systems such as for cities and nations. This also demonstrates that science and technology hold the key to managing the trilemma of sustainability: population, poverty and pollution. By 2050, 70 percent of world's population will be living in cities. So, necessity of building innovative cities is unquestionable.