In 1994, Växjö "veck-quwere" Municipality began replacing all street lighting with energy efficient bulbs - immediately reducing CO2 emissions by 50%, or the equivalent of 6,000 tons CO2 annually.
Additional Case Studies
Växjö (Veck-quwere) is half way to becoming a city free from the use of fossil fuels. An incredible 51% of its energy comes from sources such as biomass, renewable electricity, and solar. In little over a decade emissions have been reduced by 30% per person to 3. 232 tons of CO2 annually - well below the European (8 CO2t/a) and world (4 CO2t/a) averages. The city has made this happen through rigorous planning and by closely measuring all CO2 emissions. With this track record the City may well be the world's first fossil free city.
Freiburg’s energy efficient housing standard has lead to reductions of up to 80% in average household energy consumption. Moreover, the standard has influenced the development of two attractive districts - Vauban and Rieselfeld - that are setting new standards for energy-efficient housing in Europe. The standard had been improved in 2008 towards a general passiv-house-standard. Low energy housing in Vauban is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 2100 tonnes per year in 270 residences. Furthermore energy aspects are considerated in each new development plan since 2005 in a consistent way.
By offering cash incentives to producers of renewable power, Germany has stimulated the renewables sector and simultaneously slashed CO2 emissions. In 2006, Germany cut emissions by 45 million tones as a direct consequence of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and 68 million tonnes as a consequence of all renewable power generated.
De-centralizing the energy sources creates energy right where it is used so that transmission losses are minimized and efficiency is increased. A combination of sustainable and renewable energy installations along with energy efficiency measures has succeeded in reducing CO2 emissions within the Council's own buildings by 82% and energy consumption by 52%. Since 1990, the city has saved £5.4 million in municipal energy bills.
Since the 1970s Freiburg has developed a reputation as Germany's ecological capital. By 1986 the City had a vision for a sustainable city reliant on an ecologically-oriented energy supply, today its solar, energy efficiency and transport programs are among the best in the world. Until 2007 CO2 emission have been reduced by more than 20% per capita, there has been a 100% increase in public transport use – with up to 35% of residents choosing to live without a car Freiburg is living proof that solar can work in the Northern Hemisphere.
Gothenburg’s system of incinerating waste to make electricity and heat is highly efficient. Benchmarked against other European countries, the system compares very favorably, generating 3.3 MWh per ton of waste for heating (27% of the city) and electricity, reducing landfill to a small fraction of the total waste collected, and cutting emissions by over 200,000 tCO2 annually. By generating energy from waste, 25% of the City’s CO2 emissions from energy consumption have been cut.
Kotka, Finland, is saving 390,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year through district heating and combined heat and power production (CHP) using renewable and recycled sources, as well as natural gas. By implementing a package of measures and avoiding outdated forms of power generation, Kotka has demonstrated the dramatic positive impact a local energy company can make to reduce CO2 emissions.
Reykjavik has the world's largest and most sophisticated geothermal district heating system, which has used natural hot water to heat its buildings and homes since 1930. Today, geothermal powers the entire city - with an electricity distribution network harnessing 750 MW thermal power from steam, and a water distribution system generating 60 million cubic meters of hot water. The use of this natural resource has massively reduced the City's dependence on fossil fuels – making it one of the cleanest cities in the world. CO2 emissions have been reduced from 1944 to 2006 by up to 110,000,000 tons, delivering savings of up to 4 million tons CO2 every year. Geothermal has also contributed to Iceland's transformation from one of the poorest nations to one that enjoys a very high standard of living.
Nevada Solar One is the world's third largest solar thermal power plant, generating 130 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity to 14,000 homes per year and averting 100,000 tCO2e annually. The new plant showcases the latest in solar technology and confirms the potential of solar thermal as a reliable and affordable source of clean energy. State policies, support from the Governor, and advances in technology have been essential in making this source of ‘new power’ a reality.