Simon Roberts

Creating Places Where Smart Energy Can Thrive

It feels like everyone is talking about smart energy systems. Vital to a low carbon future, they also form a central pillar of most smart city visions. But there is a yawning gap between the rhetoric and current practice. That gap needs to be bridged if all the promised markets - for smart technologies, data analytics, control algorithms, demand response services - are to emerge and thrive. The Bristol Smart Energy City Collaboration is building that bridge, exploring the technical, regulatory, commercial and socio-cultural challenges involved and mapping the steps needed to create the conditions in which smart energy works.

Simon Roberts OBE is Chief Executive of the Bristol-based national charity the Centre for Sustainable Energy ( He has been helping people, organisations and policy makers develop effective responses to the threat of climate change and the misery of cold homes for more than 30 years. He describes the Bristol Smart Energy City Collaboration, which he set up in 2015, as the most intellectually challenging project he’s ever undertaken.

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