Establishing an “Energy City” program in Columbia

Based on the Swiss “Energy City” efficiency standard, the scope of the “Ciudad Energética Colombia” currently centers on the efforts of three Columbian cities to implement sustainable energy policies. EBP was commissioned by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to introduce the Energy City standard throughout Columbia.

The Columbian government would like to implement the Swiss Energy City standard as a means of promoting the development of renewable sources of energy, improving energy efficiency and introducing more sustainable forms of transportation. EBP is overseeing the project and working together with prominent local partners, including Corpoema, ENCO, and Swisscontact, to encourage as many Columbian cities as possible to become a “Ciudad Energética Colombia”.

The Swiss Energy City standard has been adapted to the Columbian context, which means that municipalities in Columbia can now be certified under the terms of the “Ciudad Energética Colombia” standard after having successfully implemented sustainable energy-management policies.

Showcase projects in three Columbian cities

In the project’s first phase, we helped three Columbian pilot cities, Fusagasugá, Montería, and Pasto, to begin the Energy City process. In order to determine their individual strengths, we developed local energy strategies and guided the implementation of specific projects. These projects include a solar-roof program known as 51+ in Fusagasugá, an e-bike sharing system in Pasto, and the efficiency-oriented renovation of a public school in the Caribbean city of Montería. All three projects feature innovative solutions adapted to local circumstances. Moreover, they represent excellent examples of how fossil fuels can be replaced with local sources of renewable energy and how every city can make its own contribution to the transformation of the energy sector in Columbia.

Establishing a national Energy City program

The second phase of the project focused on providing the Columbian government with consulting services relating to the establishment of a national Energy City program, including specific proposals on how to embed the program in the country’s existing energy strategy. After observing the successful implementation of the first phase, the government moved to complete an extension of the Energy City standard to the Caribbean cities of Mompox and Bosconia by the end of 2020.

South-to-south knowledge transfer

One of the main success factors for the establishment of the national Energy City program is the use of a participative approach to engage the active support of the local population. This strategy is augmented by a south-to-south knowledge and experience transfer. We work together closely with public and private-sector enterprises, including universities, to promote the transfer of knowledge and experience from our EBP Energy City program in Chile to the Energy City program in Columbia.

Overview of Pasto bicycle project

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