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How to realize net zero commitments, learning from examples from yesterday.
Preparing and shaping city energy systems
Cities worldwide have set ambitious net zero commitments, but the critical question is ‘what’s next?’ Strategic planning is a critical step in assessing the future energy mix that cities will need to realize their decarbonization agendas. To overcome decision paralysis, data from energy audits should be reviewed while mapping out gaps in skills, capabilities and resources required to achieve them. Setting realistic, feasible goals in order to achieve early wins to maintain the momentum will be critical.
Rapid urbanization, rising costs and ageing infrastructure also mean the energy transition will be challenging and costly so it’s important that our plans tell the story of our cities’ strengths.
Dancing the ‘micro-to-macro’ tango
The simplest and most effective solutions lie at the micro-level, so to best prepare our energy systems we should start small at the building level, assessing the energy efficiency of our properties. Then, expanding outwards to explore available resources at a neighborhood level such as a nearby body of water that could be used for water source heat pumps. Where these needs are not met or where there is an opportunity to maximize a particular resource further afield, we should broaden our solutions to a district level. Taking a micro-to-macro approach can help simplify the journey and create confidence in decision-making around implementable plans.