On the horizon just before the information age, THE CITY BROKER!

clip_image002There are within Smart Cities and Transactive Energy a number of points of intersection. The same is true of Smart Cities and IoT/CPS and of IoT/CPS and Transactive Energy. The interesting reality is perhaps the difference between a smart city and Really, really really smart city. Transactive energy is the reality of renewable energy coupled with the reality of micro-grids. Micro-Grids actually create a more secure power system for a city. You can’t take the power for an entire city because there is no one place that represents the nexus of city energy. In legislating renewable power, the city can become an energy broker. Moving the excess solar power around the city during the day. A partnership with the existing electric company (whose profitability on the power moved would increase, while their costs and need for power plants would decrease). IoT (CPS) devices would enable a number of additional city services. All of this under the umbrella of a Smart City.

Everything offered as part of a city marketplace within the City Broker. The more proper technical terminology for the City Marketplace is a service catalog. Where the services offered would include the following:

· Renewable renewal energy delivered by existing power company at a reduced cost

· Cloud services including SaaS, PaaS and IaaS services delivering BPaaS and other essential services

· Shared marketplace buying power (everyone in the city buying office supplies as one entity)

· Security from home users to the broker and companies.

· Incubation and small business support.

All of these services offered along with the many traditional city services consumed. Need to have a large item picked up with your trash – you go to the trash remove service. An on-line service that tells you how much it will cost you to move the large item out. City services would be reduced in cost for the city not requiring as many phone lines or as many queues.

Small business and incubation services would build a renewable revenue stream for the city. If you help small and innovative companies grow to profitability you grow your tax revenue. Using the broker services for cloud allows you to reduce the cost of IT services for those small and startup companies. Centralized market purchasing reduces the cost for those organizations as well. Finally offering security services from home to small business reduces the cost for both the home user and the small business. You can stamp out things like the team “from the central windows computer” calling and installing all sorts of spyware on your computer. Reduce the impact of larger scams and come up with effective responses to incidents with a broad deployment model (city wide).

Overall the intersection of the three circles is the City Broker/City Marketplace. The reality of moving to this model is FUD. Fear, uncertainty and doubt, to date many people are nervous about government intervention. That said its time to consider reality.

If you look to Europe, where there is much more state sponsored renewable energy this issue would be less. The scale would be less (Holland is smaller than the US East Coast) but it shows a model that can be completed and leveraged across a nation.

Yes, government can be scary. Yes, government can go wrong. But the reality of our world today is that it’s time to embark on the journey that gets us to where we are most able to solve the problems of today quickly.

I’ve said many times that we haven’t reached the information age. Until I can stop, get out of my car and launch an app on my phone that will allow me to quickly ask questions about anything and get the answers I need, that age lies beyond us. Today search is ok, but it is more go-fish than it is seek and retrieve. The same is true for the reality of power. Why isn’t there a law in every country of the world that says build a building, more than 5 stories by LAW YOU OFFSET THE CARBON PRODUCTION OF THAT BUILDING WITH renewable energy and greenery on the roof.

Time has come for transactional government. By the way, we could throw direct citizen vote into that as well!


City Broker designer