Renewable Energy Policies for Cities


May 2021
ISBN : 978-92-9260-312-0

Cities are critical to the global energy transition. The most visible energy transitions today occur in major cities. With their comparatively large revenue bases, big cities have the regulatory frameworks and infrastructure to scale up renewables and meet emission reduction targets. Small and medium-sized cities (with less than one million inhabitants) often lack access to sufficient financing and policy support to move effectively in this direction. Despite being less visible than megacities they are home to some 2.4 billion people – or 59% of the world’s urban population – and are growing faster than any other urban category.

The Renewable Energy Policies for Cities: Experiences in China, Uganda and Costa Rica series of reports aims to provide much-needed knowledge regarding the deployment of renewable energy in medium-sized cities, focusing on the challenges faced and successes achieved to date.

See a set of videos showcasing energy transition in action in China, Uganda and Costa Rica  

The reports present case studies of six medium-sized cities from three very different countries: Chongli District and Tongli Town in China; Kasese and Lugazi in Uganda; and, Cartago, Grecia, and Guanacaste in Costa Rica. These cities were chosen either because they have effective policies in place to advance the transition or have untapped renewable energy resources that could contribute to their sustainable development. They also illustrate deployment strategies for renewable energy across vastly different socio-economic and institutional contexts.

The findings of this study may support other countries as they implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), empowering other cities to adopt sustainable energy solutions and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The full set of reports includes:

  • Renewable energy policies for cities: experiences in China, Uganda, and Costa Rica (main report, available as download on top of this page)
  • Renewable energy policies for cities: experiences in China, Uganda, and Costa Rica (summary for policy makers)
  • Renewable energy policies for cities: experiences in China (English version)
  • Renewable energy policies for cities: experiences in China (Chinese version)
  • Renewable energy policies for cities: experiences in Uganda (English version)
  • Renewable energy policies for cities: experiences in Costa Rica (English version)
  • Políticas sobre energías renovables para las ciudades: experiencias en Costa Rica (Spanish version)
The reports and case studies were produced with the support of the International Climate Initiative