Renewables in Cities Global Status Report

REN21 Secretariat

2021 Edition: 18 March 2021

The second edition of the Renewables in Cities Global Status Report (REC) will be available on 18 March 2021. A virtual event will kick off the launch and be followed by a series of thematic and regional events co-hosted by the REC Advisory Committee members and REN21 members. REN21 will list all of the REC 2021 events on our website.

18 March Launch Event – 8:45-9:30am CET
(*This is the time in Paris, France. Click here to convert to your time zone.)

Click here to register for the launch event on 18 March.
Click here to add this event to your calendar.

Renewables in Cities 2021 Global Status Report

Cities have a unique role to play in accelerating the transition to a renewables-based energy system. Crisscrossed with transport systems and home to a variety of energy-intensive systems such as buildings and industry, cities are a prime playing field for renewable energy deployment and use. More than half the world’s population (55%) lives in cities today (and growing), and cities account for three-quarters of global energy demand and global CO2 emissions. 

City governments (alongside businesses, individual households, communities and other urban actors) have increasingly taken action to decarbonise the energy end-uses in their jurisdictions and accelerate the global uptake of renewable energy. They have demonstrated leadership, by adopting energy and climate targets, investing in renewables and passing policies to encourage renewables city-wide. Often, city governments have been able to act swiftly and efficiently in comparison to national governments. 

Cities are uniquely positioned to support the uptake of renewable energy.

The Renewables in Cities 2021 Global Status Report (REC 2021) maps efforts by various city actors, most notably municipal governments, to accelerate the global uptake of renewable energy, including urban policy landscapes, market and infrastructure developments, investment trends and opportunities for citizen participation, with the aim of demonstrating and inspiring city ambition on renewables.

By reducing reliance on fossil fuels and scaling up renewable energy, cities can improve their air quality, increase local economic development, create local jobs and boost resilience to climate change-caused impacts. The REC series aims to inspire and equip urban stakeholders to take action on renewables, providing the latest updates on the uptake of renewable energy in cities worldwide and sharing urban success stories.

The Renewables in Cities 2021 Global Status Report would not have been possible without the support of the authors, contributors and Advisory Committee. Find out more about the community behind this report here!

The Renewables in Cities 2021 Global Status Report, the second report in the series, will launch 18 March 2021.

Past Editions of the Renewables in Cities Global Status Report

Renewables in Cities 2019 Global Status Report

In the report you can find chapters on:

  • Cites in the Renewable Energy Transition
  • Drivers for Renewable Energy in Cities
  • Urban Policy Landscape: Targets and Policies
  • Urban Renewable Energy Markets
  • Mobilising Finance and Enabling Business Models
  • Citizen Participation

Do you want to be involved in future editions of the Renewables in Cities Global Status Report?

Please let us know about your expertise by filling in this short form, or e-mailing us at This will help us make sure to include you in the right stage of the report production process.

As with all REN21 publications, all contributors and reviewers will be acknowledged in the final report.