Energy analysis for sustainable mega-cities

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: ABSTRACTCities throughout Asia have experienced unprecedented economic development over the past decades. In many cases this has contributed to their rapid and uncontrolled growth, which has resulted in a multiplicity of problems, including rapid population increase, enhanced environmental pollution, collapsing traffic systems, dysfunctional waste management, and rapid increases in the consumption of energy, water and other resources. The significant energy use in cities is not very well perceived in Asian countries. Although a number of studies into energy consumption across various sectors have been conducted, most are from the national point of view. Energy demand analysis is not considered important at the level of the city. The thesis is focused on the dynamics of energy utilization in Asian mega-cities, and ultimately aims at providing strategies for maximizing the use of renewable energy in large urban systems.The study aims at providing an in-depth understanding of the complex dynamics of energy utilization in urban mega-centers. An initial general analysis is complemented by a detailed study of the current situation and future outlook for the city of Bangkok, Thailand. An integrated approach applied to the study includes identification of the parameters that affect the utilization of energy in mega-cities and a detailed analysis of energy flows and their various subsystems, including commercial, industrial, residential and that of transportation. The study investigates and evaluates the energy models most commonly used for analyzing and simulating energy utilization. Its purpose is to provide a user-friendly tool suitable for decision-makers in developing an energy model for large cities. In addition, a Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) process has been developed to assess whether or not the energy systems meet the sustainability criteria.A metabolic approach has been employed to analyze the energy flow and utilization in selected Asian mega-cities, including Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo. The approach is applied to measure the majority of indirect energy flows or the energy embodied in the flows of goods and services involving the residents of those cities. Since the function of cities is to serve the lives of the residents, indirect energy consumption could be regarded as being of equal importance as that of direct energy use. The essence of embodied energy is that an indirect reflection upon behavior following direct energy consumption. It can illustrate how a city relies on the outside, for example other cities, countries, etc. and provides some interesting information that cannot be easily drawn from the direct energy demand. The study reveals that the indirect energy demand is more significant than the direct energy demand in Bangkok, Shanghai, and Tokyo, while direct energy demand is greater than the indirect energy demand in Beijing. This can be explained by the fact that Bangkok, Shanghai, and Tokyo have a greater reliance upon the outside in terms of energy demand.The Long-range Energy Alternative Planning (LEAP) system has been selected to perform Bangkok energy modeling. In a Bangkok case study a range of policy interventions are selected and how these would change the energy development in Bangkok by the year 2025 is examined. Different policies can be grouped by the sectors analyzed. The only supply-side policy considered meets an existing target of having 10% of electricity generated from renewable sources. The study period for the model started in 2005 and ends in 2025, with the year 2000 taken as the base year. The proposed scenarios were evaluated using the MCDM approach to rate their sustainability. Team members found that this method provided a methodology to help decision-makers to systematically identify management objectives and priorities.