The Future of the Urban Power Supply in Boston
When deliberating over new construction developments and the future of a city, the discussion inevitably turns to the innovation of power sources, infrastructure and sustainable building developments. To achieve a more sustainable Boston, the city must work to create buildings that are eco-friendly and build power supplies that are less harmful to our environment than ones currently in use.
Right now Boston is one of the most sustainable cities in the United States, but there is always room for improvement. Like most cities in America, Boston currently relies on natural gas and coal supplies for a large portion of its energy and power needs, but is taking steps to ensure that it relies less on these harmful pollutants through a broad range of solutions. Boston is exploring all renewable energy options, including solar, wind, and hydro power supplies, and is also making moves to manage these resources in smarter buildings with innovative systems.
To do this, Boston has implemented building regulations in order to build smarter structures that lower their carbon footprint. In terms of construction, almost all newly built buildings in Boston are able to claim LEED Building Certification, which is a direct result of these regulations. “LEED Building Certification addresses design and construction frameworks and provides holistic green building, which includes major HVAC improvements, significant building envelope modifications and major interior rehabilitation,” according to the United States Building Council. This only adds to the current momentum the city has from integrating renewable energy into the current power supply.
In addition, Massachusetts must take steps to ensure that the current visions of the electrical grid become a reality. Advancing the grid will move the energy industry to a new level of reliability and efficiency that will contribute to our economic and environmental health. According to a report issued by Boston University, “by using micro-grid equipped buildings and dynamic utility markets, we will be able to reduce electric power consumption, accommodate unpredictable energy generation fluctuations, and reduce reliance on carbon related fossil fuels.” In addition, a smarter power supply will reduce management costs for utilities, bring about environmental awareness, and will lower costs of electricity for consumers. It is a win-win for both suppliers and customers!
These advancements only tap the surface in terms of creating a smarter infrastructure and power supply in Boston. Through development we will be able to position this city as a world leader in sustainable structures. Massachusetts is already a leader in terms of renewable energy development, but it must work to incorporate newer and smarter infrastructure in order to ensure increased efficiency and reliability. This goal is well within Boston’s capability.