related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.
Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development. With this aim, the Sustainable Development of Energy, Water, and Environment Systems (SDEWES) Index is developed to benchmark cities based on 7 dimensions, 35 indicators, and close to 20 sub-indicators. The namesake of the Index is the SDEWES Center and Conferences that encourage a multi-disciplinary approach to the issues and challenges of sustainable development. Based on the wide-ranging scope of the SDEWES Index, the final ranking favors those cities that have well-rounded and above average performances in as many dimensions as possible.
The SDEWES Index is currently applied to 58 different cities, which correspond to 12 Southeast European (SEE) cities, 22 Mediterranean (MED) port cities, and 25 cities representing cities with the most number of authors and co-authors in the Book of Abstracts of the 9th Conference on SDEWES with available data, including 4 Asian and North/Latin American cities. The SDEWES Index was presented in three SDEWES Conferences in 2014 and 2015, namely the 1st SEE Conference on SDEWES in Ohrid, the 9th Conference on SDEWES that was held on a cruiser between Venice and Istanbul, and the 10th Conference on SDEWES in Dubrovnik. The conference venues of Dubrovnik, Venice, and Ohrid take place within the top 15 cities in the final ranking of the integrated sample.
Each of the 7 dimensions contains the min-maxed values of 5 main indicators, which are then aggregated into an Index value. These include energy consumption in buildings and transport, energy saving measures, renewable energy potential, CO2 emissions, water and air quality, urban form, education rate, and sustainability policy, including R&D and innovation, among others. Collectively, the SDEWES Index scans across aspects that are essential for the sustainable development of energy, water and environment systems in cities. The 7 dimensions are briefly overviewed below:
The "Energy Consumption and Climate" dimension represents the present state of energy usage in the city. Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) provide the basis for the energy that is consumed by buildings and transport in the city. The magnitude of energy usage measures the impact of cities on energy resource spending to satisfy energy services. Total energy consumption per capita places the total magnitude of energy usage in the context of population. The number of heating and cooling degree-days is used to adjust the energy usage with climate. + Click here to see the indicators
The "Penetration of Energy and CO2 Saving Measures" dimension represents the status of measures to reduce the city's energy spending and CO2 emissions. These may include combined heat and power (CHP) based district heating and/or cooling networks. Such measures enable the city to better use the quality of energy resources (exergy). Other indicators include energy savings in end-usage, including pilot net-zero buildings, the density of the public transport network based on network length, number of stations, and lines, and efficient public lighting armatures. + Click here to see the indicators
The "Renewable Energy Potential and Utilization" dimension considers the solar energy, wind energy, and geothermal energy potential of the city and the utilization of this potential to produce useful energy output, particularly electricity. The utilization of renewable energy is also assessed based on the share of biofuel utilization in transport, which needs to be obtained in a sustainable manner. To stand out in this dimension, a city with a relatively higher renewable energy potential also needs to have a higher share of renewable energy usage in the energy mix. + Click here to see the indicators
The "Water and Environmental Quality" dimension integrates an assessment for the flows of natural resources in the city other than energy into the SDEWES Index. This dimension brings together indicators that relate to domestic water consumption per capita, the quality of drinking water, and local air quality based on particulate matter measured at PM10. Ecological footprint and biocapacity are taken from the available data at the national level. At the same time, this places the city into the context of its surrounding natural environment with which it interacts. + Click here to see the indicators
The "CO2 Emissions and Industrial Profile" dimension includes the CO2 emissions in the city from buildings and transport and the average CO2 emissions per MWh in the energy mix. Surveys of energy intense sectors that are included in EU ETS and/or the cargo load of the port are conducted to determine the industrial profile of the city, if any. For broader scope, the annual passenger traffic of the international airport that services the city is used as a proxy for air traffic related CO2 emissions. The Airport Carbon Accreditation level is included for comparison. + Click here to see the indicators
The "City Planning and Social Welfare" dimension aggregates aspects that are related to the accessibility of public transport options, the presence of green protected areas within and around the city, water and waste management, urban form, as well as economic and educational opportunities. An assessment of the urban form (i.e. monocentric or polycentric) is based on satellite images of the city. For Mediterranean port cities, coastal water quality is also assessed based on the shares of the year in which there is excellent water quality as reported under 2006/7/EC. + Click here to see the indicators
The "R&D, Innovation and Sustainability Policy" dimension is a cross-cutting dimension that couples the ambitions of the city to reduce CO2 emissions with the knowledge production and innovation capacities made available to local actors to create solutions. This includes R&D spending as a ratio of GDP, R&D support programs in the priority areas of energy and environment, number of patents with European Patent Office (EPO) green patent codes, number of universities in the city in the SCImago institutional rankings, and h-index of scientific publications. + Click here to see the indicators
The results of the SDEWES Index benchmark the cities’ performance and allow a comparison of best practices. The downloadable presentation from the Opening Ceremony of the 10th Conference on SDEWES provides a summary of the implementation of the SDEWES Index to the integrated city sample. The journal publications in the references further provide the details of the analytical process for the SEE and MED samples. This includes the process of data collection by dimension for the cities. For direct access to the results, click on the SDEWES Index for the integrated sample. The direct results of the SDEWES Index for Dubrovnik, which is among the top 5 cities, is available here.
SDEWES Index Interactive Table
Kilkiş, Ş., Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems Index for Southeast European Cities, Journal of Cleaner Production, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.07.121
Kilkiş, Ş., Composite Index for Benchmarking Local Energy Systems of Mediterranean Port Cities, Energy,
For inquiries and comments regarding the SDEWES Index, contact: email@example.com
(Dr. Şiir KILKIŞ, SDEWES Center Member)