Technology available today can be employed to create viable, sustainable, smart cities. That will be the message that Bob Gilligan, vice president of transmission and distribution for GE Energy Services, will deliver to delegates at the Chatham House conference, “The Future of Cities.”

More than 100 representatives, technology innovators, academia and business leaders from cities throughout the world are meeting in London this week to discuss the challenges faced by cities that are growing at record rates. Gilligan’s February 9 keynote address will kick off a day of discussion on city infrastructure.

“With cities using 75 percent of the world’s energy and global energy consumption projected to triple by 2050, the choices we make today will determine whether our population centers become sustainable, livable communities,” Gilligan said. “The good news is that with a worldwide initiative to increase energy efficiency, control demand and add renewable generation, we can deliver the solutions to meet the needs of our growing cities.”

As the migration from rural areas to cities continues, GE is already deploying solutions that are enabling growth while reducing carbon footprints on six continents. GE’s smart grid solutions are changing the ways utilities, governments, businesses and consumers interact with energy.

New GE technology breakthroughs in Hawaii are helping increase the use of wind and solar power on islands with no domestic source of fossil fuels. Australian consumers are making smarter energy decisions with information transmitted through WiMAX-connected smart meters. In India, power interruptions are decreasing and resources are being deployed more efficiently, thanks to GE’s outage management systems and advanced geospatial information systems. Also, Energy Smart Florida is on track to upgrade infrastructure, increase efficiency and add renewable generation throughout America’s fourth most populous state.

“GE is committed to helping shrink carbon production while increasing the energy capacity and reliability that growing cities need to thrive,” Gilligan said. “We already are deploying solutions that are making a difference today, and we have the resources to help cities everywhere plan and implement a healthier energy future.”

Gilligan’s address will outline the challenges, solutions and potential for sustainable energy success through integrating a two-way network of information-rich, flexible smart grid solutions with the current infrastructure. Attendees will learn how smart grid upgrades enable a host of citywide benefits, including increased energy productivity, uncompromised energy security, increased use of renewables such as wind and solar, increased energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions and the ability to manage and meet growing demand.