Renewable energy in cities

Renewable energy in cities

The transition to renewables cuts across the entire urban energy landscape, from buildings, to transport, to industry and power. It means integrating energy supply and demand between different sectors, through smart technologies, rigorous planning and holistic decision-making.

Cities today have the opportunity and the means to provide sustainable services and quality of life to their citizens. Urban areas account for more than half the world’s population, as well as 65% of global energy demand and 70% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Cities, therefore, need to take action to meet the rising needs of their populations while maintaining a healthy living environment, combatting poverty and avoiding catastrophic climate change.

While the potential for renewables is high, it varies greatly depending on each city’s characteristics. Population density, growth prospects and demand profiles in cold versus hot climates all shape the opportunities to introduce renewables, including the vast growth potential for uses in urban buildings
and transport. Accordingly, deployment strategies must be tailored to technology options and enabling policy frameworks for each city.

Priority action areas for renewable energy in cities:

  • renewable energy in buildings
  • sustainable options for transport
  • creating smart integrated urban energy systems
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