Energy generation puts pressure on cities, citizens and the environment through carbon emissions, impacts on land and rivers and other forms of pollution. Many countries have goals to increase energy efficiency and many cities are striving for climate neutrality. To get there, a sustainable and efficient energy system is key.
Smart City Sweden invited experts in the field to discuss issues and solutions on how to create more smart and sustainable cities by reducing the impact of energy consumption.
In the first part of the event, Faisa Abdi, CEO and Founder at QC Renewable Energy, and Peter Bennich, Senior Policy Advisor at the Swedish Energy Agency, discussed policy and development in the southern and eastern parts of Africa in relation to energy.
Peter Bennich said that many countries lack policies for energy efficiency, which could help decrease energy consumption and save money for citizens. Sweden has long experience in policymaking, but many learnings can be learnt from other countries.
– The locals know what the best solution is for them. I see a lot of opportunities. It [Africa] is an opportunity continent, said Faisa Abdi, whose company works to strengthen the relations and business with Sweden and East Africa in questions relating to sustainability and energy.
Both Sweden and the EU has set goals to increase energy efficiency, which is an important part of reaching goals for creating more sustainable cities. Stockholm has a goal of becoming fossil-free and climate positive by 2040, which creates a big need of reducing the impact of energy consumption.
Jörgen Lööf from ElectriCITY discussed how the district of Hammarby Sjöstad has been working with citizen engagement to reduce energy consumption by educating the citizens and performing energy mappings to measure the energy use. The mappings showed how the energy consumption could decrease by 25 %.
Örjan Lönngren from the City of Stockholm discussed lessons learnt from the city and the challenges in the transformation to a climate-neutral city. To work together with companies when planning city districts is one of the key learnings, and district heating systems are important to reach the goals. The district heating system in Stockholm is currently undergoing an adaption to become fossil-free.