Tuesday 10 January 2017

Energy Cities’ members multiply renewables by 6 in the framework of Covenant of Mayors - study

The efforts made by cities to boost local energy production and renewables are essential on the path towards a sustainable energy future. Energy Cities’ members take bold action in that sense, namely in the framework of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. According to a recent evaluation of their performance in the initiative, the cities have made substantial progress in upscaling local energy and renewables and are an example to follow in terms of CO2 reduction commitments.

Covenant cities regularly monitor their progress in implementing their local action plans (SECAPs). In December 2016, Energy Cities selected 33 cities from its network having signed the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy to assess progress and identify trends. Firstly, the monitoring reports of 10 member cities were evaluated.

In addition to this, the progress reports of 23 other cities that are part of our network via a collective membership were analyzed. In total, 33 cities from 13 different countries were analysed.
As Covenant supporters, our collective members play an essential role in helping cities in their territory to successfully implement their local action plans.

More ambitious than the EU

The 33 Covenant cities selected for the analysis have committed to reduce their absolute CO2 emissions by nearly 32% by 2020, in comparison to 2000. They are thereby going beyond the European target of 20% reductions by 2020! As the graph below shows, the analyzed cities are bound to decrease their CO2 emissions by 12,5 million tons!

Let’s put this finding into perspective: as the handy GHG equivalencies calculator of the US Environmental Protection Agency shows, 12,5 million tons of CO2 equals the combined annual emissions of 2,6 million cars, or what 3,5 average coal-fired power plants emit yearly.

Making progress towards energy independence

The report reveals even more encouraging results with regards to the cities’ efforts in increasing their local energy production : Between 2000 and 2013, they have increased their local energy production by nearly 20% (see graph below). The total of this locally produced energy (31,38 Terawatt per hour - TWh) in 2013 allowed those 33 cities to cover a quarter of their energy needs (127 TWh). With 31,38 TWh of local energy produced in 2013, these Energy Cities members could cover the annual electricity needs of 8,6 million EU households, or 19 million citizens!

The figures are even more impressive in terms of renewable generation, which in this analysis includes electricity (e.g. photovoltaic, hydroelectric, wind), heat (e.g. biomass), combined heat and power, geothermal, solar thermal and other biomass. Renewable energy generation has skyrocketed in this timeframe and increased sixfold! At the same time, the share of fossil fuels decreased by 30%, which proves that the analysed Covenant cities are making substantial headway in divesting from dirty energy sources and reinvesting into sustainable ones.

The analyzed Covenant cities produced 14,62 TWh of renewable energy in 2013, which is enough to supply 4 million EU households (9 million citizens) in one year.

The Energy Cities members which were in the focus of the assessment are still early in the process of delivering on their Covenant of Mayors commitments. They still have a long road ahead, but these results have shown that they are on the right track in their energy transition!

The Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is a one-of-a-kind bottom-up urban initiative, in which local and regional authorities commit to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030. Moreover, signatories adopt an integrated approach to climate mitigation and adaptation, and strengthen efforts to provide secure, sustainable and affordable access to energy for all.

List of analysed cities
10 direct member cities: Växjö, Koprivnica, Rijeka, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Almada, Guimarães, Tbilisi, Nice Métropole, Bielsko-Biala

23 cities through Energy Cities’ collective members, i.e. National Associations of Local Authorities:
Dobrich (EcoEnergy)
Koscierzyna, Piaseczno & Warsaw (Polish Network Energie-Cités)
Jūrmala, Jēkabpils, Jelgava, Tallinn (Union of the Baltic Cities)
Aiud, Alba Iulia (Orase Energie Romania)
Nijmegen (Klimaatverbond Nederland)
Pervomaisk, Voznesensk (Energy Efficient Cities Ukraine)
Halmstad, Jokkmokk, Stockholm, Kristianstad, Lund, Södertälje, Finspång, Västerås, Älmhults, Jönköping (Klimatkommunerna)

Visit our best practice database to find out concrete actions of rewewable development at local level in Europe! !

by David Donnerer on 10 January 2017 / 1007 visits

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