The China Energy Group Releases the Benchmarking and Energy Saving Tool for Low-Carbon Cities

November 29th 2016

The China Energy Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is pleased to announce the release of a new software tool and user guide to support city-level action on climate change: Benchmarking and Energy Saving Tool for Low-Carbon Cities (BEST Cities).

The BEST Cities tool was co-developed by the China Energy Group of Berkeley Lab and the Energy Research Institute of China's National Development and Reform Commission, and was beta-tested by the Shandong Academy of Sciences.

The BEST Cities tool has three main modules:

  1. Inventory and Benchmarking
  2. Sector Prioritization
  3. Policy Analysis

BEST Cities supports and assists Chinese cities in the development of low-carbon action plans to achieve their energy and climate targets, and also provides benchmarking against other Chinese and international cities. BEST Cities provides a policy database as well as a prioritization mechanism to tailor a plan to each individual city using the tool.

Highlights include:

Analysis of energy and emissions (CO2 and CH4) in 9 city sectors: Industry, Public & Commercial Buildings, Residential Buildings, Transportation, Power & Heat, Public Lighting, Solid Waste, Water & Wastewater, and Urban Green Space.

Benchmarking 35 key performance indicators (KPIs) across 9 sectors and city-wide-including energy intensity and CO2 per capita-utilizing a database of nearly 400 Chinese and international cities.

Characterization of 72 energy and CO2 emissions reduction policies in terms of their carbon savings potential, first cost to government, and speed of implementation.

Prioritization sectors and policies for your city based on sector carbon emissions and improvement potential, city authority, and city capabilities (finances, human resources, and enforcement).

The China Energy Group has trained more than 400 researchers, city mayors, policymakers and practitioners to use BEST Cities and other low-carbon tools (GREAT, ELITE Cities, and Urban RAM) over the past six years in more than 20 cities in China. Participating cities include Beijing, Guangzhou, Jinan, Kunming, Nanchang, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Wuhan, and others. The BEST Cities tool and user guide are available in English and Chinese.

Feedback on using BEST Cities:

"The BEST Cities tool helped Jinan City to identify a 62% carbon reduction potential, with 26 million tCO2e of potential savings in the industrial sector, and 2.6 MtCO2e, 1.3 MtCO2e, 8.5 MtCO2e, 1.5 MtCO2e, in Public and Commercial Buildings, Transportation, Power and Heat, and Residential Buildings sectors, respectively." — Dr. Zhou Yong, Vice Director of the Institute for Development Strategy of Shandong Academy of Sciences

"LBNL's tools are very valuable and customized to Chinese conditions that can be used for low-carbon city pilots, and should be disseminated more widely to more cities through trainings and university educational programs." — Jiang Zhaoli, Deputy Director General of China's National Development and Reform Commission

"With the support of LBNL... and collaboration and use of green-tech tools, e.g. BEST Cities... Shenzhen won the prize of Annual Outstanding Eco-City Case of China in 2014 and the 2014 Prize for Cities of the Future Award by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) and the Paulson Institute." — Li Angang, Deputy Director of Shenzhen International Low-Carbon City Planning and Development Office

Low-Carbon City Policy Databook

In addition to the BEST Cities tool and user guide, the China Energy Group is releasing an extensive Low-Carbon City Policy Databook from the policy database developed for the BEST Cities tool. For each of the 72 policies, this report provides a two-to-four page explanation and characterization, which includes: a Policy Description, Implementation Strategies and Challenges, Monitoring Metrics, Case Studies, Policy Attributes (Carbon Savings Potential, First Cost to Government, Speed of Implementation), as well as Tools and Guidance, and References.

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