Call for a Holistic Understanding of Energy Consumption in Urban Cities

by Alejandra Chávez

The article begins by explaining that 80 percent of the world’s total energy production is consumed by urban areas, which are expanding and becoming increasingly complex. The largest energy-consuming areas are residential and commercial buildings, which are plentiful in urban areas and account for about one-third of the world’s total energy consumption. Although energy efficiency initiatives and renewable energy investments are often common in residential and urban buildings —mainly for economic reasons— the authors stress that a “holistic” understanding of all the factors that influence consumption rates must be developed. Continue reading

Call to Action: Urge to Take Advantage of Solar Energy Potential in Mexico City Metropolitan Area

by Alejandra Chávez

The Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) has a population of 8.851 million people (2010), making it the largest and most populated urban area in the country. It is well within the “sun-belt” of Earth, with solar incidence areas of over 5 kWh/m2/ day radiation. Though there is a high potential for renewable energy, there is little incentive by policymakers to take advantage of an energy source that could better conserve the environment, limit the amount of natural and/or technical interruptions, and be an economic relief to the MCMA. The authors support the development of and rationalize that solar photovoltaic (PV) technology to harvest its energy potential. This technology is economically competitive to give energy to vulnerable areas that often do not require as much power. Because energy transition diagnostic is not very organized, it is vital for decision-makers to be aware of the social and economic difficulties in MCMA. Continue reading