Research project energy transitions in cities. Lifestyle, experimentation and change.
“Energy transitions in cities. Lifestyle, experimentation and change”, is an international comparative study, with focus on a limited yet illustrative number of metropolitan realities in developed and emerging economies. This is a joint initiative of Euricur (European Institute for Comparative Urban Research) and Enel Foundation and should run for approximately 2 years, with closing date foreseen for June 2014.
The project aims at better understanding the role of cities, as players and places, in energy transitions, focusing on the user/consumer side and their changing behavior and lifestyle, but also at how new sources of energy production and distribution modes emerge, are experimented and legitimated in cities. The study involves also looking at the role played by leading utilities – in cooperation with municipal administrations, users and other urban stakeholders – in creating shared values, for theexperimentation and scaling-up of more sustainable services and solutions.
The project combines desk research and the review of state-of-the-art experiences with the collection of primary, new evidence in cities. It takes place in 3 stages:
1) development of a methodological framework of analysis, tested on an urban pilotcase study (Stockholm);
2) extension of the framework to 6 cities (Turin, Shanghai, Berlin, Santiago de Chile, Rio De Janeiro, S. Francisco) and in-depth investigation of the key dynamics ongoing in their respective energy sectors (megatrends);
3) synthesis and presentation of general findings. Best practices and comparative findings resulting from the case studies will be collected and applied to Rome and Barcelona for a comparative analysis.
This publication includes the results of the third case study of the project: the city of Shanghai.
Economy, Elizabeth and Michael Levi (2014). By all means necessary : how China’s resource quest is changing the world. Oxford : Oxford University Press. 288 p. ISBN : 9780199921782.
China’s spectacular rise over the past three decades is nothing short of monumental, and is one of the most important events in modern history. Its economic growth affects nations around the world, environmentally, politically and militarily. In By All Means Necessary, Elizabeth Economy and Michael Levi explore the unrivaled expansion of the Chinese economy and what has been required to sustain this meteoric growth.
In the past twenty five years China has transformed from an impoverished country where peasants comprised the largest portion of the populace, by far, to a country of innovation, entrepreneurs and more millionaires than anywhere else in the world. In the beginning, that growth was fueled by internal resources, but like every other major power in modern history China was forced to look outward to find the massive quantities of resources needed to maintain their economic expansion. It is now engaged in a far flung quest around the world for fuel, water, and land for farming, while their military secures sea lanes and focuses on advanced military technologies to protect their interests abroad.
By All Means Necessary is a comprehensive account of where China’s pursuit of raw materials may take them in the coming years-a crucial issue, not just for China, but for the whole world.
OECD. (2013) Green growth in Stockholm, Sweden. Paris : OECD Publishing. (OECD Green Growth Studies) DOI: 10.1787/9789264195158-en
This report studies green growth trends, challenges and opportunities in the City of Stockholm, Sweden. It first analyses socio-economic trends and the environmental performance of the city and the county of Stockholm; then it reviews urban policies for land use, transport, buildings, waste, energy and water that contribute to economic growth and reduce pressure on the environment; thirdly assesses Stockholm’s green innovation potential in areas such as cleantech, ICT and university to business linkages; and finally it examines local, regional and national institutions, including horizontal and vertical coordination mechanisms that strengthen cross-sectoral and multilevel govenance for green growth.
Table of contents
Foreword and acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations
Economic and environmental trends in Stockholm
Policies to further promote green growth in Stockholm
Investors stand to lose most of the $1.28 billion they put into Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP) after the solar manufacturer said it wouldn’t resist a bankruptcy petition filed in China.
The company, based in Wuxi, outside Shanghai, had more than $2 billion in debt and defaulted on $541 million in bonds due on March 15, prompting eight Chinese banks to ask a local court to push Suntech’s main unit into insolvency.
An employee inspects a solar panel on the production line at the Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. facility in Goodyear, Arizona. For Suntech, which had more than $2.2 billion of debt at the end of March 2011, the outlook for survival is bleak. Photographer: Ken James/Bloomber
An employee walks into Suntech Power Holdings Co. headquarters, which is covered by photovoltaic panels, in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
“There’s a host of companies that have gone to Wall Street investors and gotten billions of dollars, and these investors are ultimately going to be on the hook and get nothing out of it,” Angelo Zino, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC in New York, said in an interview yesterday.
The failure underscores how risks to investors in the solar industry have spread after the collapse of Solyndra LLC in 2011 and bankruptcies in Germany of companies including Q-Cells SE, previously the biggest solar manufacturer. The bankruptcy will make financing more difficult, Xie Jian, the chief operating officer of JA Solar Holdings Co., said today in an interview.
Sustainability has emerged as the most important global issue for business, industry, government, and academia, and yet to begin with sustainability was associated only with environmental concerns such as energy and global warming. It is now recognized that the concept of sustainability is applicable to all areas of human society, for example in terms of social/economic justice, or responsible business practice. Issues such as poverty, hunger, education, health care, and access to markets should be a part of the evolution of any comprehensive sustainability paradigm. ACSEE 2013 will address these various dimensions of human sustainability. Scholars from around the world are invited to address questions and search for synergies and solutions to the complex issues surrounding sustainability in a forum encouraging exchange between academics, members of the global business community, and practitioners in the fields of human endeavor that link these.
The extent of building activities in China is fascinating. The demand for living space in the big cities has led to an unprecedented high-rise building boom.
This building boom and the further densification of cities involves new and complex challenges not only for urban planning departments, mobility and for the infrastructural supply chain management, but also for architecture.
According to statistics, Chinese metropolis regions (more than 85 conurbations with more than five million inhabitants each) can expect an annual increase of one million people per year. In this context, a steep rise of the cities’ total energy demand is also to be expected.
Even today, the major part of the energy demand of urban settlement areas is due to the operation of buildings, especially to the segment of cooling buildings.
The symposium, which is organized by the IAT and the Confucius Institute Graz, will offer international architects, experts and building developers a platform that includes lectures, debates and workshops.
Specialists from all over the world have been invited to examine these issues in depth.
On November 22, 2011, the State Council – China’s highest executive body of state power – issued a document on the country’s policy response to climate change1, which called for low-carbon trials at industrial zones, communities and businesses. Industry accounting for 60% of all urban greenhouse-gas emissions, attention turned to industrial zones. But there were no models to follow, and no single set of plans or standards. Many low-carbon industrial zones just “went their own way”.
This year, the US Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) released a guide for the development of green industrial parks inChina. The assessment system includes 23 measures across four major categories:
energy use and greenhouse-gas management;
recycling economy and environmental protection;
zone management and protection mechanisms;
and planning layout and land use.
Energy use and greenhouse-gas management accounts for 60% of a zone’s score, and as such is the key element of evaluation.
Ph.D. Urban Planning and Public Policy (Rutgers University, New Jersey); M.Sc. Urban Affairs (Boston University); Architect (Technical University of Lisbon). Urban and regional planning consultant. Research fellow at Instituto de Ciencias Sociais – Universidade de Lisboa.
Clean, safe energy for rural areas is an important component of green growth and sustainable development. Biogas could be an important contributor, if its record in reality lives up to its expected potential. This paper provides a preliminary assessment of biogas use by smallholder farmers in rural China, using data collected from 2,700 households in five provinces. The authors find that user satisfaction is high, and environmental and economic benefits appear tangible. There are strong indications of reduced use of wood and crop residues for fuel. Less time is spent on collecting fuel wood and cooking, which is especially beneficial to women. Adopters also save on fertilizers, because of the use of biogas residues. Moreover, problems with suspension of biogas use, whether due to technical or human factors, remained limited. However, few tangible benefits to respiratory health were detected. Overall, these findings are grounds for optimism about the potential for of smallholder biogas to contribute to more sustainable development, in China and beyond.