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Clean Energy Cities

How can cities ensure they’re taking the highest impact, near-term steps to prepare themselves for the energy transition?

In partnership with the World Resource Institute, we analysed 17 cities globally and categorised them into five different city typologies to understand the different scale and nature of the challenge - and spotlight the key actions local stakeholders can take to make their future energy systems a reality.

Large populations concentrated in urban agglomerations, proximity of commercial and non-commercial uses, limited space for variable renewable energy (VRE) and distributed energy resources (DERs), high levels of EV penetration, digitalisation and CO2 targets already in place.

Paris / London / Tokyo

Large populations, geographically isolated, commercial and non-commercial land uses separated from each other, available variable renewable energy (VRE), low levels of EV penetration, but high prevalence of digitalisation and innovation in electricity markets.

Singapore / Los Angeles / Bengaluru

Spread-out cities with high population growth estimates, high VRE and plenty of land available around the city, moderate EV penetration and retail innovation but advanced wholesale market evolution.

Buenos Aires / Johannesburg / Nairobi

Spread-out cities with large scale VRE nearby, small but increasing EV adoption, moderate digital skills, innovative retail tariffs to maximise local VRE consumption.

Stockholm / Medellin / Amsterdam / Vancouver

High density but smaller cities with abundant resources and land available, plenty of commercial floorspace in comparison to size, average EV penetration and digital skill, with the greatest innovation in retail tariffs.

Nantes / Manchester / Valencia / Sydney

Paris
London
Tokyo
Singapore
Los Angeles
Bengaluru
Buenos Aires
Johannesburg
Nairobi
Stockholm
Medellin
Amsterdam
Vancouver
Nantes
Manchester
Valencia
Sydney

Data from cities around the world

To create detailed recommendations to decarbonise local energy systems, we sourced open data from cities around the world, from developed and developing countries, to global conurbations and smaller cities. These datasets were collected across numerous indicators, each of which belonged to one of four categories:

Overall size and scale of a city’s population and building stock

Capacity of variable renewable energy, use of electricity in heating, cooling and transport

Energy profile mix and potential of local generation and storage

Digital services, climate change perception and energy market innovation

City typologies: the headlines

Connected

Paris / London /
Tokyo

Large populations concentrated in urban agglomerations, proximity of commercial and non-commercial uses, limited space for variable renewable energy (VRE) and distributed energy resources (DERs), high levels of EV penetration, digitalisation and CO2 targets already in place.

Free-Market

Singapore / Bengaluru /
Los Angeles

Large populations, geographically isolated, commercial and non-commercial land uses separated from each other, available variable renewable energy (VRE), low levels of EV penetration, but high prevalence of digitalisation and innovation in electricity markets.

Scalable

Buenos Aires /
Johannesburg / Nairobi

Spread-out cities with high population growth estimates, high VRE and plenty of land available around the city, moderate EV penetration and retail innovation but advanced wholesale market evolution.

Distributed

Stockholm / Vancouver /
Medellin / Amsterdam

High density but smaller cities with abundant resources and land available, plenty of commercial floorspace in comparison to size, average EV penetration and digital skill, with the greatest innovation in retail tariffs.

Available

Nantes / Valencia /
Manchester / Sydney

Large populations concentrated in urban agglomerations, proximity of commercial and non-commercial uses, limited space for variable renewable energy (VRE) and distributed energy resources (DERs), high levels of EV penetration, digitalisation and CO2 targets already in place.

City Profiles

Select up to 3 cities to learn more about how they performed across our indicators.

Connected Cities
Free-Market Cities
Scaleable Cities
Distributed Cities
Available Cities
 
Please only select 3 cities
Demographics
1.
Population
2.
Land area
3.
Commercial floorspace
4.
Number of residential units
5.
Number of electricity meters
Decarbonisation
6.
Fuel for heating / cooling end-uses
7.
National Variable Renewable Electricity Generation
8.
Regional Variable Renewable Electricity Generation
9.
Regional connected variable renewable generation capacity
10.
City electricity demand
11.
Heating and/or cooling degree-days
Urban Flexibility
12.
Mix of land uses
13.
Potential land for local generation near city
14A.
Solar roof generation potential
14B.
Solar score
15A.
Wind generation potential
15B.
Wind Score
Consumer Flexibility
16.
EV ownership
17.
Startup environment
18.
Take-up of digital services
19.
Attitudes towards climate change and ‘green’ issues
20.
Population growth to 2035
21.
Innovation in electricity wholesale market
22.
Electricity grid open data
23.
Historical change in energy demand
24.
Innovation in retail wholesale market

Want to find out your city typology?

Can’t select your city above? Fill out the below questions to find out the typology of the city that you’re looking for.

Built environment
Question 1 of 16
In the last census, what was the population of your city, city-region and nation?
City
City-region
Nation

Our recommended actions

For each typology, we’ve provided a range of high-impact, evidence-driven actions for the near term (by 2025) and for the future (by 2040) that city leaders, local stakeholders, private sector innovators and investors can use as they collectively seek to decarbonise local energy systems and deliver greener urban environments.’

You can find out more in the full report here.

Connected City
Free-Market City
Scaleable City
Distributed City
Available City
Connected City
Free-Market City
Scaleable City
Distributed City
Available City

Read the full report

Find out more in the full report, created in partnership with the World Resources Institute. The document is a detailed resource for city leaders looking to transition to greener, fairer and more affordable energy systems.