District energy in cities: unlocking the potential of energy efficiency and renewable energy.


Accelerating the uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the global energy mix is the single biggest contribution to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius (°C) and to reap the multiple benefits of an inclusive green economy. Cities account for over 70% of global energy use and, 40 to 50% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. In several cities, heating and cooling can account for up to half of local energy consumption. Any solution for the climate and energy transition must explicitly address sustainable urban heating and cooling, as well as electricity. One of the least-cost and most efficient solutions in reducing emissions and primary energy demand is the development of modern (climate-resilient and low-carbon) district energy in cities. This new report from UNEP has surveyed low-carbon cities worldwide to identify the key factors underlying their success in scaling up energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as in attaining targets for zero or low greenhouse gas emissions. This publication aims to provide concrete policy, finance and technology best practice guidance on addressing the heating and cooling sectors in cities through energy-efficiency improvements and the integration of renewable energy technology. It provides a glimpse into what integration and systems thinking look like in practice when addressing challenges in the energy, transport, buildings and industry sectors. The publication also consolidates data on the multiple benefits that cities, regions and countries have achieved from a transition to modern district energy systems.


  • Original title: District energy in cities: unlocking the potential of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  • Record ID : 30015321
  • Languages: English
  • Subject: General information
  • Publication: Unep (united nations environment programme) - France/France
  • Publication date: 2015