The Energy Cities project seeks the capacities of administrative teams, companies, educational institutions and social leaders, the design and implementation of local energy strategies, based on the use and exploitation of alternatives in Colombia.
Colombia’s energy system will be confronted with different challenges in the future: electricity demand is expected to increase by 39% within the next 10 years; the international GHG reduction targets are set at 20% by 2030, yet the high share of hydropower of 60% is vulnerable to future climate change impacts. To give an example, the effects of El Niño in 2016, which led to one of the worst droughts in the last 20 years, together with the failure of some hydropower stations, have forced the government to take energy-rationing measures.
In response to these challenges, Colombia is reacting on different levels. An important step has been the development of a strong legal framework for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE), including the energy efficiency program, PROURE – Program for the Rational and Efficient Use of Energy and non-Conventional Sources, 2017 - 2022. PROURE targets EE in sectors such as industry and transport and has identified a savings potential of 20% for the whole country. Much of these savings can be achieved in cities.
Energy Cities (EC) is a management tool for municipalities, which was originated in Switzerland 25 years ago, encouraging the implementation of energy efficiency projects, renewable energy and sustainable mobility at local level through innovative models of collaboration and with the participation of authorities municipalities, the academy, the productive sector and civil society.
Swisscontact worked in particular on the third strategy action (measure) that was to improve capacity development and awareness in the 3 pilot cities (Pasto, Fusagasugá, Montería) and at the national level.
The Energy Cities (EC) Program was built upon local stakeholder’s engagement and participation. To make this process effective and reliable, a multi-dimensional capacity-building process was needed, with the objective to flatten knowledge across actors, enhance the capacity of local leaders, encourage active participation and raise awareness for the future development of the program in other cities in the country and in the public policy. It included training on the EEA/EC system, process and tools for both municipal leaders and advisors; technical knowledge and management capacity linked with (the quick-win) project design and implementation; communication and awareness raising; and setting up a national EC support and governance structure.