Cities consume more than three-quarters of the world’s energy and account for nearly 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, there is an urgent need to increase urban energy governance and to quicken the transition to greener sources of energy.
In this context, the Grid-Scale Energy Community of Practice of the Asia LEDS Partnership organised a webinar on August 11, 2023, to emphasise the importance of “Accelerating Local Energy Transitions: Tools and Case Studies.” Experts from various sectors discussed guidelines and case studies that support local governments in facilitating local energy transitions. The session had two segments: introduction of the Local Energy Governance Rating System (LEGRS), a framework developed in accordance with international standards to assist local governments in expediting the energy transition; and the presentation of case studies from Chinese Taipei and the Philippines. The LEGRS guideline and tool is designed to bolster capacity-building in local energy governance and to foster the growth of green industries.
Mr. Ting-Jui Sun, a researcher at the Industrial Technology Research Institute, Chinese Taipei, spoke on the significance of the LEGRS guidelines for local governments for aligning with international standards and initiatives, driving industry development and attaining their energy goals. He said that the LEGRS aims to support local governments by sharing best practices, providing technical assistance, and promoting industry’s involvement in facilitating the transition.
Mr. Sun added that infrastructure plays a pivotal role in accelerating the energy transition, such as through smart energy data management systems, efficiency measures extending beyond building boundaries, the adoption of renewable energy sources, electrification, and the implementation of energy storage solutions. He said that bridging international standards with policy is the essential catalyst for expediting the energy transition.
Ms. Yi-Sheng Yang, Director, ICLEI Kaohsiung Capacity Centre, Chinese Taipei, said that cities are crucial for developing net-zero solutions and affordable energy systems, and presented best-case examples from Taipei City, focusing on low-carbon transportation; New Taipei City, emphasising energy efficiency in buildings; and Pingtung County, on achieving 100% renewable energy and implementing zero-budget models.
In 2020, Taipei City released its first local energy policy master plan, underscoring multi-level governance, and the role of local governments in organising, convening, and achieving these objectives. The energy policy combines international best practices with local energy-related data through an inter-bureau mechanism within the government, thus ensuring a comprehensive approach to energy management.
In 2021, New Taipei City launched the “Zero Carbon, New Taipei Takes the Lead” programme, setting the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The city has implemented 31 action plans to reduce residential and commercial building emissions through energy-saving measures, building renovations, and the adoption of zero-carbon power sources.
Pingtung County in Chinese Taipei introduced a unique strategy known as the Zero Budgeting Model, which promotes renewable energy in areas with land subsidence without financial support. It offers incentives such as waiving of administrative fees to encourage PV investors to sell electricity to the Taiwan Power Company or Taipower, and gives landowners/farmers a 20-year contract to safeguard their rights.
Mr. Arvin Gammad of the City Architects Office, Quezon City, the Philippines, highlighted the renewable energy and energy efficiency measures implemented by his city, such as promotion of green, energy-efficient and resilient buildings; ensuring access to clean and affordable renewable energy; implementing transportation improvements such as a bus augmentation programme, promotion of electric tricycles and the enhancement of pedestrian lanes; and advancing measures toward a circular economy, such as the “trash to cashback” programme and providing biodigesters to farms and markets.