Why Renewable Energy?

cee-thumbnailImage of Landsdowne Mall, Richmond, BC (Credit: xx)

Renewable energy sources are becoming more widely used in cities across the world. They diversify and localize energy supply, emit little or no carbon into the atmosphere, and provide cost-saving to buildings. They are also less damaging to human health than fossil fuels. Regions, such as Metro Vancouver, have massive capacity to provide their own renewable energy within their own borders, but this potential is currently barely utilized. As cities continue to grow, we must look at local sources of heat, cooling, and electricity that are sustainable in the long-term. In developing new energy policies such as increased or 100% renewables targets (as in Vancouver and Victoria), it is important to consider what proportion of energy can come from the region and for each site, as is now required with new development in countries such as the UK.

Energy Demand Map:

• Exploring existing energy demand of a community

Magic found here

Renewable Energy Potential Map:

• Calculating renewable energy types and potentials of a community

Best maps ever

Tools, and Resources:

• Real-world examples of renewable energy projects

• Tools that can assist in the renewable energy strategy

• Resources on renewable energy

What else would you need?!

Visualize existing energy use and carbon emissions for buildings

All of our buildings use energy, in the form of electricity (mostly renewable hydro-electricity) and natural gas (mostly non-renewable fossil fuels). The energy use and GHG maps are useful to estimate which houses emit the most carbon and at what cost. Explore using the different maps to see the existing energy use and carbon emissions for your building. These can help see areas of heavier intensity and use, and identify what a community can do about it.

Energy demand calculation of a particular site or municipality

Energy measurement of homes by energy use and relative building cee-thumbnail
Annual energy use and the associated cost of energy for your home cee-thumbnail

Energy 101: Metro Vancouver’s energy consumption

GHG measurement emissions of energy use in homes cee-thumbnail
GHG measurement by energy use and relative building size of homes cee-thumbnail

Visualize how much energy could be potentially harnessed locally

Some communities have major potential for rooftop solar (i.e. industrial areas), use of waste heat from sewage pipes or from other buildings, use of biomass residues, etc. Explore the renewable maps to see the potential for various renewable energy sources and think about policies and projects that would allow renewable energy to play a role in your community. As a community, look to see if your area has many overlaying renewable energy sources (energy hub) and calculate your estimated potential harness. See if the energy sources be suited to a centralized community energy plant or a distributed network (such as rooftop solar) in suburban areas. For more description of renewable energy types and issues, see Energy 101.

Energy potential calculation of a particular site

Other types of renewable energy layers

Energy 101: Renewable Energy Sources

See how renewable energy supplies can be developed in the region

Looking ahead to the future is a challenge for any city. So let’s get you started with the steps that can generate discussion and ideas on appropriate renewable energy policies for your community. Explore using the case studies of renewable energy proejcts, tools that can assist in policy and action work, as well as gaining access to resources that can build a foundation to your sustainable community.

Case studies of renewable energy projects


Tools that can assist your work