Cities heading towards 100% renewable energy: Barcelona, Frankfurt, Geneva...

By Béatrice Alcaraz on 6 December 2016

CLER, Energy Cities and Réseau Action Climat collaborated to prepare a report providing guidance and solutions to French cities and metropolitan areas anxious to embark on a 100% renewable energy path.

To provide a broader perspective, the authors have selected five European champions that are showing the way forward. They are all signatories to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. Despite different mobiles, approaches and timetables, all these cities and regions aim to develop a coherent energy system based on energy efficiency and the optimum use of renewable and interconnected energy. Their policies and action plans rely on robust, flexible partnerships capable of mobilising local stakeholders around a collective project. The second part of the report is composed of five theme-specific factsheets illustrating the path towards 100% renewable energy with French examples of completed or on-going projects.

The 5 champions

Barcelona’s strategy is based on a two-fold observation: the high concentration of urban population is one of the major challenges of the 21st century, and the need for large urban areas to develop efficient energy solutions.
Frankfurt’s commitment to fighting climate change is not new, as demonstrated by the creation of an energy office within the municipality’s Building Department as early as 1983, a commitment renewed in 1990 with the establishment of the Energiereferat, the local energy agency and department.
It all started in 2006 with an offer from energy experts for Frederikshavn to take part in a pilot project called “Energibyen” (Energy City) and to become the first 100% renewable energy city in Denmark.
The successive increases in oil prices and their extreme volatility over the 2004-2006 period, as well as the prospective depletion of fossil energy resources, revealed Geneva’s strong energy and financial dependence on fossil fuels.
With the arrival of Ilmar Reepalu as mayor in 1994, Malmö started to reinvent itself by promoting local know-how, culture and sustainable development. The city thereby regained its title of Southern Sweden’s economic hub.

The 5 recommendations to keep in mind
  • A vision of the future : Integrating the 100% renewable energy objective into a broader perspective
  • The urban-rural linkage : cooperating with neighbouring rural communities
  • Taking action : illustrating success stories with projects on the ground
  • Co-construction : inventing new ways of engaging local stakeholders
  • Facilitation : Human resources, the key to success
Read the report "Cities heading towards 100% renewable energy by controlling their consumption - Food for thought and action"

Discover how cities are making money by going 100% Renewables on the blog of URBACT

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