Smart management of our environment and infrastructure
By 2020, the majority of Australian households, businesses and other organisations will have access to smart technology to better manage their energy use.
Australia’s population is growing. This, together with our changing climate, is having an effect on the environment. One of the ways of helping manage Australia’s environment better is by using ‘smart’ systems connected to the NBN. This is using information and computer technologies and high-speed broadband to help make our use of water, energy, transport and infrastructure more efficient and sustainable.
Why is it important?
Using smart systems in the home and in business will have a positive effect on the environment. For example, using a sensor network on a major road, like the Westgate Freeway in Melbourne, means traffic flows better and there is less congestion. Using sensors on a farm can mean a farmer knows where the best places are to plant crops and reduce water use. In the home, having a smart meter installed can help us manage costs by giving us information on our electricity use in real time. A smart meter attached to our electricity supplier’s smart grid can help avoid outages. The fewer outages and the less electricity used, the better for Australia’s environment.
Where are we now?
The government has been looking at a number of different smart technologies to make Australia more sustainable, including requiring all new major urban roads to have smart technologies installed to help reduce congestion. Smart technology on the rail system will help increase safety and make rail services more efficient. These smart technologies will be greatly helped by the NBN, which will allow the huge amount of data these sensor networks generate to upload and download more easily.
Smart Grid, Smart City is testing the electricity system of the future by using a mix of innovative technologies demonstrating how smart grids can manage peak electricity demand, identify and resolve faults on the grid, and help customers make informed choices about their energy use.
Managed Motorways is using sensor networks to manage traffic flows on a number of major roads across Australia. Roads like the M1 West Gate Freeway (Western Ring Road to Williamstown Road) in Melbourne, the M4 (Western Motorway) in Sydney and the Gateway Motorway (Nudgee to Bruce Highway) in Queensland use smart technologies to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.