- 80% of CO2 emissions today come from energy. To date, the focus has been overwhelmingly on decarbonizing the supply side. Whist this is of course important, it’s only half of the solution.
- Tackling energy demand (the way we use it) will account for 55% of energy decarbonization by 2050, but its transformative potential remains largely overlooked.
- Electrification and energy efficiency are quick wins. Let’s ensure we see both sides.
Last year, a glistening new shopping centre opened in a burgeoning Helsinki metropolitan area. The development forms part of the 117,000-square-meter Lippulaiva complex, which also houses a library, fitness centre, kindergarten, office premises, residential apartment buildings, and a metro station and bus terminal.
A geothermal facility meets almost all of the heating and cooling needs of the complex, whilst solar panels on the roof and wall surfaces generate electricity for the shopping centre’s lifts, escalators, and the illumination of the centre’s public spaces. Smart energy management systems optimise consumption by, for example, temporarily reducing air conditioning when electricity consumption is at its peak.
The centre beautifully illustrates the many tools available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise energy efficiency and resilience – two objectives that have never been more critical. And as we navigate the ongoing windfall of energy and climate crises, it is vital to deploy this entire toolkit to optimise energy supply and demand at scale and speed.