AI and civic energy communities vs. energy
The use of AI-based smart meters linked to mobile apps that allow end users to better understand and manage their energy consumption in real time will help improve energy efficiency. For example, in one study by the IT Centre for Intelligent Energy Systems in Denmark, thanks to artificial intelligence, the amount of energy used to treat wastewater, and thus the associated greenhouse gas emissions, was reduced by about 40%, maintaining the company’s efficiency.
Citizen energy communities are a way to enable entire localities to insulate their homes and produce their own electricity. Groups of neighbours are working together to install solar panels and introduce energy efficiency measures, helping to solve the energy crisis. Portugal’s Cleanwatts project, for example, wants to create energy communities in 100 villages, focusing on vulnerable areas and those with large numbers of elderly residents.
Break Free From Plastic and Centre for International Environmental Law organizations are encouraging people to use less plastic so that more energy is left to heat homes. In 2020, nearly 15% of the gas consumed and 14% of the oil consumed in the European Union was used to produce petrochemicals, most of which were used to make plastics. The countries that use the most oil and gas to make plastics – Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland – are also responsible for 77% of all plastic packaging waste in the EU.