Green is good. While not everyone believes in global warming (they should though), there are hundreds of cities heading towards becoming green. Skycop presents five cities that have started changing to make the world a better place.
- Barcelona, Spain
By 2050, the second biggest city of Spain in terms of population, economic development and activity is aiming to become an energy independent city.
Barcelona started thinking about climate change in late 90s. In 1999, the municipality adopted a thermal-solar ordinance: all new and retrofitted buildings were required to cover at least 60% of their hot water needs by using solar energy. The legislation was effective: by the end of 2012, 90,000 m2 of solar panels have been installed. If all roofs were fitted with solar panels, Barcelona would be able to produce 5,500 GWh/year, thus covering the electricity requirements of its whole population. Currently, the municipality has 50% of its internal needs covered by renewable energy.
The municipality shares its plans on a government website where everyone can find plans, strategies, interactive tools and more.
The web page states that “a sustainable city is a long-lasting one that has a future, because it will be assured the necessary resources and conditions for maintaining and improving the quality of its citizens’ lives.”
- Frankfurt, Germany
By 2050, Frankfurt hopes to cut their energy demand by 50% (from 2010 numbers) through energy savings and energy efficiency. The goals is to meet energy demands entirely via renewable resources.
The city started its energy initiatives early.In 1983, an energy office was created in the municipality’s Building Department and was renewed in 1990 with the establishment of the Energiereferat, a local energy agency and department.
In 2008, the city council adopted a list of 50 measures intended to fight climate change and reduce energy use. In 2015, Frankfurt adopted the “Masterplan 100% Klimaschutz” (“100% Climate Protection Masterplan”). It identifies the strategies and instruments for achieving the objective by 2050. The renewable energy sources in Frankfurt’s plans include solar thermal and PV energy, biomass, and, to a lesser extent, wind power produced in the metropolitan area.
- Frederikshavn, Denmark
Frederikshavn has probably the boldest goal from the bunch. The city strives to use 100% renewable energy by 2030.
The town in north Denmark started to concentrate on attracting green enterprises and technologies in mid 2000s. The Frederikshavn’s focus is on developing a coherent energy system based on renewable energy.
In order to have 100% of the area’s energy needs (electricity, heating and transport) covered by renewable energy, the city plans to focus both on energy saving and on clean energy generation via wind and other local renewable sources or technologies (biomass, biogas, heat pumps, etc.).
The Greater Frederikshavn is creating infrastructure that encourages cleaner forms of mobility, including charging and transfer stations for electric, biogas or hybrid vehicles, bike-friendly roads, and car-sharing facilities.
The action plan for 2030 will be reviewed every year to “keep up with the ambition of a 100% renewable energy conversion”. The continuous monitoring process makes integrating new renewable technologies that were not yet available at the time of plan creation possible.
- Geneva, Switzerland
The increase in oil prices in 2004-2006 revealed that Geneva had a strong energy and financial dependence on fossil fuels. That prompted the city council to take action and, in 2006, a “100% renewable by 2050” municipal strategic plan was adopted. The on-going strategy identifies buildings which would benefit most from renovation work in order to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and increase the share of clean energy use.
From 2010 to 2017, the overall energy consumption of municipal real estate buildings decreased by around 10% and CO2 emissions decreased by 25%
As part of its public awareness campaign on the issues of global warming, a Facebook page “Geneva, sustainable city” was created.
- Malmö, Sweden
A former industrial city of Southern Sweden, Malmö, has transformed itself into a technological innovation, culture and a sustainable development centre. The city strives to become 100% renewable by the year 2030. Malmö intends to achieve that by developing solar, wind, hydro-power and biogas.
“Energistrategi för Malmö” plan’s measures include energy retrofitting, smart grids, efficient waste management and developing public transport and cycle paths. According to the plan, the remaining needs will be covered by renewable energy produced within the city (50%).
Malmö has also prepared an urban development roadmap required to achieve this deployment of renewable energy.
The Malmö’s plan, which the municipality also submitted as its Sustainable Energy Action Plan for the Covenant of Mayors, identifies sectors with energy efficiency and renewable energy potential: transport, building and energy production.
Malmö has also set milestones for achieving 100% renewable energy:
• By 2020, energy use will be reduced by 20% compared to 2001, and then by 50% by 2030.
• By 2020, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by at least 40% compared to 1990. This target was almost already reached by 2014.
• The share of renewable energy will increase from 50% by 2020 to 100% by 2030.
If you decide to visit one of these green-oriented cities and experience any flight disruptions, make sure to keep calm and get it touch with Skycop – we will fight for your claim in a most eco-friendly way.