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Global Futures Report 2013 - Integration Into Local and Urban Mobility

41 n Local Power Grids and Municipal Utilities Cities and experts noted that much can be done at the local level, including promotion policies and infrastructure planning, to develop local power grids that incorporate local renewable resources. (See also Box 6 on “Smart Cities.”) However, experts also noted that such opportunities are limited by the degree to which local governments own or control their local grids, as most local distribution networks are owned and operated by regional or national entities. In this regard, experts noted trends toward municipal ownership or control of local power distribution and generation infrastructure.17 Municipally owned or controlled utilities allow local governments and citizens to play a much greater role in the planning and devel- opment of local power infrastructure. Several experts suggested models for how the presence of municipal utilities might acceler- ate local renewables development. For example, local governments could directly mandate utility investments, targets, or promotion policies that encourage private investment. Or a municipal utility could see renewables as a branding opportunity to differentiate itself from national and international utilities (which may also seek only larger-scale projects). Or, local governments could participate in profit-sharing schemes with utilities. Experts also noted trends toward municipalization or re-municipalization of local utilities (especially as existing concession/franchise agreements start to expire). For example, a number of cities in the United States and Europe are considering re-municipalization.19 04 Examples of Municipal Utilities San Francisco (USA) established a new utility with the goal of providing the city with 100% renewable electricity by 2020. Austin (Texas, USA) mandated that its municipal utility reach a 30% electricity share from renewables by 2020, and actually reached that goal eight years early, in 2012. Boulder (Colorado) residents, unsatisfied with the existing regional utility’s progress with renewables, voted in municipalization in 2012. Other cities with existing municipal utilities are quickly mov- ing toward high shares of renewables, including Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark), Munich (Germany), Sacramento (California, USA), and Växjö (Sweden). In Germany, hundreds of municipal utilities are aiming at more renewables.18 Integration Into Local and Urban Mobility Over the past two decades, cities and local communities have increasingly grappled with how to “green” local transport and incor- porate renewable energy along with the full range of low-emissions and energy-efficient vehicles and strategies. Among many lessons, cities have been finding that rebuilding urban transport systems to incorporate greater shares of renewable energy requires a host of complementary measures. Cities around the world as diverse as Yokohama (Japan), Hamburg (Germany), and São Paulo (Brazil) have articulated visions and initiated specific projects and plans to make their transport sectors more efficient and to integrate renewable energy.20 (See also transport in Chapter 2.) In the future, cities and local communities will strive increasingly to integrate renewables into transport through the use of renew- able electricity for both private vehicles and public transport (trains, trams, and buses). Hamburg (Germany), for instance, aims to con- vert its urban rail transit to be 100% renewable by 2050. Calgary (Canada) plans to run its entire urban transit system with wind energy. Freiburg (Germany) already runs its electric tram system on 100% renewables. Cities like Genoa (Italy), Hong Kong (China), Mexico City, and Sydney (Australia) are making large investments in the extension and electrification of their urban transport systems.21 Many cities are adding or converting to electric trolley buses and envisioning future fleets of battery-electric or fuel-cell buses, recognizing that electric mobility increases opportunities for integrating renewable energy. And a number of cities around the world are introducing charging stations for private electric vehicles, including Hong Kong (China), Yokohama (Japan), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), and Munich (Germany), while at the same time work- ing to integrate renewables into local electricity supply and as direct power for such charging stations.22 Thus, cities clearly envision that the shift to electric vehicles will be accompanied by a shift toward renewable sources for vehicle charg- ing. Many examples exist today that point to the future integration of renewables with electric vehicles at the local level. (Renewable sup- ply can come either through direct renewable energy installations or through green-power purchases or certificates.) Austin (Texas, USA), for example, already powers its 50 electric-vehicle charging stations with green electricity. New York City and Chicago (USA) and Mexico City have all built solar-powered charging stations. Hamburg (Germany) plans that its current stock of 100 electric-vehicle charg- ing points will be supplied from 100% renewable electricity. And the utility company in the Australian Capital Territory plans to power electric-vehicle charging stations in the city of Canberra with wind, hydro, and solar power.23 In parallel, most cities are investing in various ways to promote modal shifts from private vehicles to public transport that will also enable larger shares of renewables in transport. Cities envision a future with declining shares of private gasoline and diesel vehicles (and more use of hybrid vehicles), and with increasing shares of electric vehicles and bicycles that complement public transit and become a core part of a city’s energy infrastructure. Taxis can be part of such strategies as well: Mexico City inaugurated a zero-emission taxi program to put 100 electric taxis on the streets by 2012.24 Cities are also increasingly using ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas to fuel public transit systems and public vehicle fleets, as well as pro- moting these fuels for private vehicles. Cities and experts envisioned

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