Using the GEA: Cities and energy

Changing how cities provide and consume energy will be key for improving efficiency and energy access worldwide. 

Currently,  50% of the world population lives in cities. The GEA estimates that 60 to 80% of final energy use globally is urban, with a central estimate of 75%. By 2050 almost three-quarters of the world population is projected to live in cities. Providing services and livelihood opportunities to growing urban populations in the future presents a major opportunity for transforming energy systems. Housing, water supply and sanitation infrastructure, energy, and transport services are the key sustainability challenges to accommodate some three billion additional urban dwellers in the decades to come, especially in low-income countries. What does the GEA say about these issues?

Video: Why are cities so important in assessing global energy?

Video: What policies should urban areas and cities adopt?

More information

Download Chapter 18: Urban Energy Systems (PDF, 94 pages)

Download Chapter 18 Slide Pack (Powerpoint)

Download Chapter 10: Energy End-Use: Buildings (PDF, 101 pages)


Related videos

Urban Energy Systems: Arnulf Grubler at the Stanford GEA Forum, 21-22 May 2013

Energy end-use: Buildings – Dian Urge-Vorsatz at the Stanford GEA Forum, 21-22 May 2013


Related publications

Grubler, A. and Fisk, D., eds., 2012. Energizing Sustainable Cities: Assessing Urban Energy: Routledge, 240 pp. (

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Last edited: 15 January 2014


Arnulf Grubler

Emeritus Research Scholar Sustainable Service Systems Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Emeritus Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

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