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GSR 2015 - Cities and Local Governments

97 04 RENEWABLES 2015 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT ■■ CITY AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Cities and municipalities are on the leading edge of integrating renewable energy into power infrastructure, buildings, and transportation systems. Thousands of cities and towns around the world have used their unique purchasing and regulatory authoritytoenactpoliciesandtargetstopromotethedeployment of renewables. Local governments have used a mix of direct support mechanisms and indirect support through broader eco- development or climate programmes.110 Targets and policies introduced by city governments are often among the most ambitious and innovative of any seen worldwide. Local-level policies—such as local FITs in Germany and solar obligations in Spain—have served as blueprints for state and national policies. Local officials also have taken leading roles in developing private sector partnerships to scale up renewable energy technologies. Support for expanding the deployment of renewable energy technologies in the electricity sector remains a primary component of city-level policy development. Policy support has expanded beyond the electricity sector, however.Incontrasttotheslowadoptionofpoliciesforpromoting renewable heating technologies at the national level, numerous municipalities have used their planning and regulatory authority to increase the uptake of renewable heat technologies. In Europe and South America, for example, the renewable heat sector has benefitted from the unique regulatory authority that cities often hold, leading to the development of district heating and cooling networks that integrate renewables, and to the widespread deployment of solar water heaters. Cities also have promoted renewable transportation alternatives, integrating biofuel and EVs into public transportation fleets and developing supporting infrastructure, such as EV charging stations. This section attempts to provide an overview of actions taken by cities around the world and does not provide a comprehensive list of municipal policy actions. Numerouslocalgovernmentsacrosstheglobe,includinginmany of the world’s largest cities, have set targets for local renewable energy deployment. Although most such cities are in developed countries, an increasing number of cities in developing countries are establishing targets. Targets vary widely in size and scope and are often more ambitious than those set at the national level. Notable examples of cities that enacted targets in 2014 include: Austin, Texas (United States), which mandated that its city utility achieve a 65% renewable energy share by 2025; New York City (United States), which targets the deployment of 350 MW of new solar PV in 10 years; and Tokyo (Japan), which aims to generate 20% of its electricity with renewables by 2024.111 In the renewable heat sector, Vienna (Austria) established a new goal to cover half of its heat demand with solar thermal energy by 2050.112 There is also a worldwide movement for municipalities to achieve 100% renewable energy in the electricity sector or economy- wide. In Germany alone, 140 municipalities have committed to 100% renewable energy or electricity goals.113 New 100% renewable targets set in 2014 include the Japanese region of Fukushima, which set a goal of acquiring 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2040, and the three islands of Maui County, Hawaii (United States), which seek to become the first American islands to be powered entirely by renewable energy.114 Many cities and municipalities around the world, including 74 in Germany, have reached 100% renewable energy goals already, with most focusing on reaching 100% renewable electricity.115 In 2014, the US city of Burlington, Vermont, achieved its 100% renewable electricity goal.116 Collaborative efforts such as the 100% RES Communities and RES Champions League in Europe, and the Global 100% RE initiative, have brought additional attention to efforts aimed at achieving 100% renewable energy at the municipal level.117 Mandates are gaining prominence as tools for renewable energy promotion. Mandates often are enacted through the development of new building code regulations to require the inclusion of renewable energy systems in building construction and renovation. Mandates also have become a common means for promoting renewable heating technologies, with the majority of city mandates focusing on the deployment of solar water heaters. Major Brazilian cities, including São Paulo, have taken a leading role in adopting building codes that promote renewable heat technologies.118 Chinese cities also have been particularly active in using such provisions to promote the use of solar water heaters; for example, as of 2014, 10 cities in Shandong Province had adopted mandates for the use of solar water heaters in residentialbuildings.119 Mandatesalsohavebeenusedtopromote the use of renewable electricity generating technologies. In 2014, several European cities were joined by Dubai (UAE) and Guragon (India) in mandating the use of solar PV.120 Local governments have enacted regulatory instruments to spur renewable energy deployment as well. Net metering has been an important tool used by local policymakers where national or state/provincial policies are not in place. The Indian cities of Delhi and Bengaluru (Bangalore) approved new net metering programmes in 2014.121 And Dubai became the first city in the Middle East to adopt a comprehensive legislative framework allowing any customer to install PV generation systems and inject surplus solar PV power into the grid.122 Feed-in policies also have been used at the local level—often offering higher rates than national or state/provincial policies (e.g., Los Angeles, California)—or are being put in place (e.g., multiple German cities) prior to national or state/provincial FITs. Worldwide, however, feed-in policies have not been adopted as widely at the city level as at the national level. Where they are in place, local FITs often face challenges similar to those at the national level. In 2014, city FITs saw a mix of positive and negative revisions. For example, Banff in Alberta launched the first municipal FIT in Canada; Palo Alto, California (United States) raised the capacity cap on its FIT programme; and Gainesville, Florida (United States)—a pioneer in local feed-in tariffs in the United States—suspended its FIT to limit overcapacity and manage electricity rates.123

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