Thanks to the support of all the local authorities that have participated and are participating in mPower, we have been able to carry out the research "Urban Energy Transitions in Europe, towards Low-Socio-Environmental Impact Cities". The shared vision on the need for an energy transition towards a renewable, fair and democratic model is very necessary at this time, and the article makes it clear, for example, that the staff dedicated to the energy transition within the municipalities is vital for its achievement.
Four cities explored the possibilities for large scale renewables generation. Visits to Frankfurt and Barcelona accelerated learning on how to: create a step change in solar generation uptake in the private sector, deliver large scale solar projects on city owned land and roofs and tackle energy poverty.
The Drechtsteden, with just short of 300,000 residents, is a small region of seven cooperating municipalities. In order to reduce households’ dependence on fossil gas, several municipalities have begun to construct heat networks using waste incineration, geothermal and aquathermal energy.
Three municipalities in southern Italy – Palma Campania, San Giuseppe Vesuviano and Striano – are proving that local authorities can engage citizens meaningfully and make them key actors in the transition to a low carbon economy.
The city-region of Greater Manchester is made up of ten local councils (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) and the Mayor. Known as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), it works together with other partners and local services on issues that affect everyone in the region, such as the environment, transport, regeneration, and attracting investment.
The city of Litoměřice has for a long time been a frontrunner in the Czech energy transition. A former port town not far from Prague, which has now become a commerce and service centre, the city of some 25,000 inhabitants began its energy transition in 2000 with a subsidy scheme for solar water heaters in private homes. 20 years later, Litoměřice is becoming a climate-friendly role model for the Czech Republic and the Central European region.
The city of Vienna and its wholly-owned energy provider are testing a range of participatory approaches to meet the city’s decarbonisation goals. From sustainable urban planning, through geothermal engineering to blockchain technology, Vienna is contributing new ideas and sustainable solutions for the city of tomorrow.
As in many other Spanish cities, two new left parties (For Cádiz Yes We Can and Winning Cádiz) took over the local government of Cádiz in an unprecedented election in May 2015. They inherited many economic and social problems such as high levels of debt and unemployment.
How did the Mouscron energy cooperative come into being and what are its plans for the near future? In December, Energy Cities met with Emmanuel Fontaine who is both the City of Mouscron’s energy adviser and one of the cooperative’s trustees. He told us about the long, but enriching process that led to the creation of this unique energy cooperative. According to this cheerful Belgian, with a clear passion for his work, such a project requires perseverance, tenacity and strong motivation. Below is a shortened version of the interview. You can also download and listen to the unabridged conversation by clicking on the link on this page.
The municipality of Amsterdam is looking for new ways to incorporate direct democracy into its fight to cut carbon emissions. Its Amsterdam Climate Accord sets out a goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 95% compared with emission levels in 1990.[i] To achieve this, the city plans to focus on its buildings, traffic and electricity sectors.