Power and renewables

DNV GL publishes energy transition framework for cities

Energy transition framework for cities

New report surveys 10 pioneering mid-size cities that lead the energy transition around the world

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - 7 March 2018 – DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, has today published a new report into the activities of cities around the world that are driving the global transition to a sustainable, decarbonized energy future. The report “Energy Transition Framework for Cities” finds that while megacities attract the headlines, significant innovation and leadership is occurring in mid-size cities, which are more numerous and comprise a greater portion of the world’s population in aggregate. Surveying the activities of ten of the most forward-looking and pioneering cities globally, the report identifies best practices that other cities can use to achieve sustainability and economic development goals, as well as opportunities for partnerships to accelerate the energy transition.

Cities consume about 75% of the world’s primary energy and contribute around 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet until recently, many municipalities didn’t see energy policy as part of their statutory powers. However, cities are now becoming significant players in the energy markets and actively accelerating the shift to a cleaner, more efficient and decarbonized energy supply to address increasingly urgent community concerns.

In Energy Transition Framework for Cities, DNV GL examines the policies and initiatives of 10 pioneering cities from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia who are at the vanguard of this transition, assessing these activities in seven key dimensions. It finds that cities are increasing their staff and resources through the creation of new programmes, partnerships and services focused on energy generation, procurement and use. While cities have had a great deal of success setting aggressive climate and energy targets and implementing programmes in their own operations, other areas related to financing and resilience remain challenging for them. Although specific strategies and approaches are varied, the Energy Transition Framework described in the report identifies best practices and recommendations for cities to adopt in their own planning processes.

“At DNV GL, our vision for a safe and sustainable future requires a broader view across multiple dimensions of the energy transition. Driven by inconsistent international leadership and enabled by changes in technology, energy markets and regulation, cities have emerged as significant players in the energy transition. But there are some challenges they cannot face alone. As our report highlights, utilities, energy providers and other companies have a big opportunity to step up and help cities meet these challenges. Together, we can enhance the lives of millions by creating more livable and sustainable cities,” says Richard Barnes, Executive Vice President and Regional Manager, Energy North America at DNV GL.

“It’s clear that there is no single correct path to a decarbonized energy future for cities. Some cities have been driven by their citizens and others have implemented top-down initiatives. For instance, in Bristol in the UK, the vision of one person – the mayor – was picked up by the whole community. But by drawing on the commonalities across leading cities, we believe the best practices in our report provide a roadmap for other cities who want to embark on the energy transition journey to improve quality of life, sustainability and resilience in our cities for generations to come,” adds lead author Betty Seto, head of DNV GL’s Sustainable Buildings and Communities Department.

The Energy Transition Framework for Cities is compiled with input from over 20 experts from across DNV GL based on decades of experience in sustainable buildings and communities. In the United States alone, DNV GL has more than 350 experts and data analysts specialized in climate planning, energy efficiency and energy management, sustainable buildings and vibrant communities. Through our programs, we have supported hundreds of cities and their energy partners across the world. 

About DNV GL
DNV GL is a global quality assurance and risk management company. Driven by our purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, we enable our customers to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. Operating in more than 100 countries, our professionals are dedicated to helping customers in the maritime, oil & gas, power and renewables and other industries to make the world safer, smarter and greener.

In the power and renewables industry
DNV GL delivers world-renowned testing and advisory services to the energy value chain including renewables and energy efficiency. Our expertise spans onshore and offshore wind power, solar, conventional generation, transmission and distribution, smart grids, and sustainable energy use, as well as energy markets and regulations. Our experts support customers around the globe in delivering a safe, reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy supply. Learn more at dnvgl.com/energy.

Download the energy transition framework for cities report

Energy Transition Framework for cities