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Urban Environmental Management

Urban Energy Systems
   Sustainable Urban



Striving for efficiency in energy production, distribution and consumption: Shift to renewable energy sources

This theme is part of GDRC's FEWW Nexus

Current patterns of energy use (especially based on fossil-based fuels) raise serious concerns for three reasons - the finite natural reserves of such energy; its detrimental effects on the global environment and the threat to long term sustainability. There is a legal and moral obligation to create an energy use pattern that ensures energy efficiency, protects environmental integrity, and maintains and enhances the strength of our local economy. These pages focus on energy for cities, particularly alternative and sustainable sources of energy.

Sustainable energy policies need to incorporate
the entire continuum of issues:
of production, use and discharge of energy.

Sustainable Energy Taking a leaf from sustainability itself, energy is considered sustainable if it "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" Sustainable energy is about finding clean, renewable sources of energy Esources that renew themselves, rather than sources that can be depleted. It is inexhaustible.

In practicle terms, sustainable energy is:

  • not fossil fuel based
  • generated from renewable sources
  • low impact on the environment - for example, less wastes generated, low habitat destruction, less GHG eimissions, minimal air, water and land pollution,
  • easily available/accessible to all
  • generation and use of energy has a lower climate impact
Sustainable Energy for All
With more than one and a half billion people in developing countries living without electricity, and millions more unable to afford energy, the United Nations declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, with a message to world governments to do more to ensure energy access for all and protect the environment through the sustainable delivery of energy.

Since then, activities were consolidated into a global partnership between the United Nations and World Bank, called the "Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL)"


Alternative and Renewable Energy

Solar Energy

Wind Energy

Wave Energy

Hydro Energy

Bio Energy

Geothermal Energy

GDRC is a member of
International Network for Sustainable Energy (INforSE)      and     

Do you have any suggestions or additions to make on the above information? Please send an email to Hari Srinivas at

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2014-2024 is the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024) . The Decade underscores the importance of energy issues for sustainable development and for the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda, including the SDGs.

GDRC endorses and works towards SDG #7: Affordable and clean energy

January 26 is the International Day for Clean Energy. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming this day, which is also the day when the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was founded.

ISO 50001 on Energy Management Systems was released in June 2011. It provides for systematic procedures to reduce energy consumption and manage energy across organizations. More info ...

Every dollar invested in energy efficiency today could return two dollars in energy savings in the future. Are we willing to make the jump?

Energy efficiency (using less energy to provide the same level of service) needs to go with material efficiency - processes that consumes, incorporates or wastes less virgin material and more of recycled/reused material.

EVERY minute, the sun showers earth with more energy than the world's entire population consumes in a year. But how can we capture that?