Dear cities and utilities: you are unique!

This title, in the style of declaration of love, is inspired by what I observe very often: cities and utilities willing to deploy solutions proven by others.

Why would this simple observation justify a particular argument?

In the development of energy systems, each situation is unique:

  • The regulations differ greatly from one country to another, even in Europe where we could have imagined greater convergence of laws and regulations. For example, the support schemes for renewable energies are different.
  • The energy mix varies at the local level of a city and at the level of a country. The economic conditions of access to each energy can thus vary very significantly from one place to another. The energy mix has consequences in terms of seasonality, regularity and security of energy supply.
  • The actors are structured differently: a German city served by a “Stadtwerke” will eventually face the same energy problems as an Italian city but will not have the same solutions at its disposal to solve them.
  • Importance paid to environmental values ??depends on national cultures and can also vary significantly in the same country.
  • The proportion and distribution of the various types of energy consumers influences the ability of these consumers to interact with systems, for example, to balance them. They are not repetitive from one city to another.
  • The energy systems in place depend on the actors, the history and all the local characteristics: they are the starting point of each city or each utility and condition the available path to evolve.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but it is obvious that each city, each utility, on the territory it covers, has a range of constraints and solutions of its own, to deal with energy problems that are often always the same.

Therefore, it is illusory to replicate, at all costs, solutions already tested or to copy a strategy. No actor can avoid and save a personal reasoning and design, adapted to local conditions.

Knowing that such equipment works, that such software provides a particular service is of course interesting. Being inspired by fruitful approaches is virtuous. But the Chinese virtue of copying is inoperative. Courage! We have to face the situation. Be confident! You are unique!

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