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Boosting renewables in cities is vital to achieve climate and development goals: Report

IRENA’s ‘Renewable Energy in Cities’ report, which analyses more than 3,500 cities, charts course to increase renewable energy in urban settings

| | Oct 18, 2016 | 2:48 pm
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Quito, Ecuador: Cities now have an unprecedented opportunity to transform and decarbonise their energy supply and use, according to a new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report, Renewable Energy in Cities, released on October 18, 2016, on the sidelines of the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, estimates energy use in 3,649 cities and explores their potential to scale-up renewable energy by 2030, said the Agency. The report, the Agency added, finds that while there is no one-size fits all solution, every city has massive potential to cost-effectively boost renewable energy use at the local level.

Stating that renewables supply only 20% of energy across the cities, the report, the Agency highlighted, outlines three priority areas – both in technology and in policy – where cities can take action to scale up renewables use: Renewable energy in buildings (for heating, cooling, cooking, and appliances); sustainable options for transport (electric mobility and biofuels) and creating integrated urban energy systems.

Accounting for 65% of global energy use and 70% of manmade carbon emissions, cities must play a key role in the transition to a low-carbon economy, underscores the report. By highlighting best practice from cities around the world, the report shows what is possible and what policies are needed to enable the change. The report, the Agency revealed, also provides concrete examples of how city actors can accelerate the switch to renewable energy at the local level by acting as planners, regulators, financiers and operators of urban infrastructure.

“Cities can play a transformative role in leading the world to a clean and sustainable energy future,” said Adnan Z Amin, Director-General of IRENA. “We have to rethink the entire urban energy landscape, which requires rigorous planning and holistic decision-making. Renewable energy, combined with energy efficiency, will power the future growth of cities. We must ensure this transition happens as soon as possible.”

He further said: “By 2050, urban populations are expected to double, making urbanisation one of this century’s most transformative trends. Now is the time to grow with renewables, leapfrog dirty technology, and create cities of the future that people are proud to call home.”

The Agency informed that the report can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/2ed4Nxi 

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