Renewables in Cities Global Status Report

Eleonora Moro

Renewables in Cities Global Status Report

The Renewables in Cities 2019 Global Status Report will be released in late 2019.

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Cities are key actors in the global transition to renewable energy. By 2018, more than half the world’s population – 4.2 billion people – lived in cities. Rapid urbanisation coupled with population growth, has led to rising energy demand at the municipal level: in 2013, cities accounted for two-thirds of global energy demand. Cities are also important drivers of the global economy, with a growing number of cities – including London, New York and Tokyo – boasting economies larger than some G20 countries.

Meanwhile, cities account for around 75% of global CO2 emissions and play a key role in addressing climate change, including limiting the rise of global average temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in line with the Paris Agreement. Cities have taken a leading role in renewable energy deployment and are adopting some of the world’s most ambitious targets for renewables, putting them at the forefront of the energy transition.

Data on local- and city-level renewable energy policies and achievements, however, are generally vast and decentralised; consolidated data are limited, and available data often are outdated. Compiling a comprehensive overview of city developments needs a dedicated process to accurately capture trends and progress.

Renewables in Cities Global Status Report

To spotlight this vital work and inspire continued ambitious action, REN21 is producing the first edition of a new report series: Renewables in Cities 2019 Global Status Report (REC-GSR). REN21 is building on lessons learned from the Renewables Global Status Report series process to fill in some of these gaps and showcase the many developments related to renewables at the city level. The REC-GSR is the first comprehensive resource to collaboratively map out the current trends and developments of renewable energy in cities. The result of a collaborative effort, the report series will be a powerful tool for accelerating transformations to renewables in cities, supporting city-level commitment and inspiring innovation in policy, financing and technology development.

The Preliminary Findings document of the Renewables in Cities Global Status Report was published with great success in May 2019 at the International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA) in Heidelberg, Germany. More than 200 experts provided data and information from around the world, and REN21 carried out more than 40 interviews to fill data gaps and gather further information on specific topics. The final Renewables in Cities 2019 Global Status Report will be published in the autumn of 2019.

How to get involved

Contribute to data collection and peer review: Do you know of any renewable energy targets, policies, finance mechanisms, community energy projects or have data on installed capacity at the city level? How are cities mobilising finance and how high is investment in renewables? Why are cities pursuing renewables and how are they involving citizens in these decisions?

Email us at or sign up here to become an expert contributor or peer reviewer. Your contribution will help increase visibility for local action and showcase examples so that we can jointly shape the debate on cities in the energy transition.

All contributors will be acknowledged in the final Renewables in Cities 2019 Global Status Report. Those that contribute city-specific information may see their city or project featured on the City Showcase.