Green Energy | The C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards
For over a decade Berlin has used solar power as its main tool in increasing renewable consumption. One of its key projects, the Solardachbörse (Solar Roof Initiative), set up in 2005, aims to get private investors to develop solar panels on municipal buildings – essentially using up free roof space for producing renewable energy.
Houston is a city with strong historical roots in the energy industry, and under the current city administration has set its sights on becoming the green energy capital of the U.S. To help reach this goal, the City of Houston recently signed an agreement with Reliant Energy, an NRG Energy company, to purchase over 140 megawatts (MW) of renewable power for the next two years. This green power purchase will account for 50 percent of Houston’s annual electricity demand.
As one of China’s leading industrial cities, with a population growing at 3-4 percent per year, Shanghai is a major contributor to China’s energy and GHG inventory. It derives most of its electricity from coal (about 95 percent in 2010) and coal makes up just under half of all energy consumption in the city. In 2010, renewables were just 2 percent of the energy mix, although their share is rapidly growing.
Seoul is working toward reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2030 from 1990 levels. To achieve these targets the city has been increasing the amount of energy generated from renewable energy, including fuel cells. Fuel cell technology is not cheap, however, and subsidies from the national government will fund 60-70 per cent of these projects. It is too early to say how cost effective this initiative will be, but South Korea’s overall strategy is to develop its domestic fuel cell industry so as to lower costs in the future and possibly export its technologies abroad.