Successfully implementing new strategies to satisfy growing energy demand, while meeting the challenges of resiliency, reliability, and security, requires creativity and technical innovation. It also requires committed leadership and effective policy-making.
Major global organizations such as the C40 Cities (with more than 90 participating cities) and the Global Covenant of Mayors (with more than 9,000 participating cities) are helping to promote dialogue and knowledge-sharing to shape visionary energy policies. Cities around the world are continuing to register their commitment to a sustainable energy future, and WSP is leveraging its global experience and comprehensive technical expertise to help them achieve this goal.
As discussed in the 2018 WSP Global Cities Index, San Francisco, Edinburgh, New York, Vancouver, and Washington, DC all have clear policies for the provision of power generation and distribution. These cities are taking actions now to secure a desirable energy future for their citizens.
Edinburgh’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan targets 30 percent of overall energy demand to be supplied by renewables by 2020. Several renewable projects, including the Edinburgh Community Solar Cooperative Solar PV project, have been funded. Work in smart grids includes the Smart Meter Street program that aims to trial smart meters to demonstrate how energy can be saved.
In New York City, the power supply is among the least carbon-intensive in the U.S. It includes nuclear and hydro generation, which accounts for half its needs. Two of the utilities that serve the city are Con Edison and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). Con Edison serves the private and public-sector markets, and NYPA has a role in supplying public-sector buildings. The city and Con Edison have supported state-level initiatives to improve energy efficiency, increase renewable energy, and reduce GHG emissions.
By contrast, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney have experienced some policy uncertainty during the past decade. Specifically, climate change mitigation has resulted in an under-investment in new generation infrastructure to replace aging power stations. In response, the Queensland State Government is addressing clean energy through its Powering Queensland Plan that includes a target of 50 per cent of total energy consumption from renewable energy by 2030, as well as to reduce emissions and act on climate change. The Melbourne and Sydney city councils have commissioned major studies and developed subsequent strategies to address GHG reductions. As a result of these and other initiatives, Australia is on track to meet its renewable energy target obligation of 33,000 GWh by 2020.
While the growing demand for power has touched all corners of the globe, its effects have been felt most acutely in urban centers. Power outages, whether caused by weather or other issues, have underscored the need for power supply that is reliable and resilient.
Cities, working in partnership with utilities, developers and professional service providers, such as WSP, have responded through a combination of energy efficiency and sustainable power generation initiatives. Renewables have figured importantly in these initiatives, and their use is expected to grow. The success of these urban energy strategies will pave the way for our cities to remain the vibrant socioeconomic hubs that they have become.
Shares of total power generation: