Speaker Series #03 – Transitioning to a Sustainable Energy Future

Mar 2021

About the Session

The Speakers

Cities on the Frontline cover image.

Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series

#03 – Transitioning to a Sustainable Energy Future (February 25, 2021)

While decent strides have been made in the transition towards sustainable energy, cities continue to face tremendous challenges in providing equitable access to safe and clean energy. Our third Cities on The Frontline Speaker Series featured Andrew Stewart and Peter Hall from Wood, Leila Mahomed-Weideman from Cape Town and Muhammad Luthfi from Semarang, to discuss strategies cities are taking in transitioning towards sustainable energy and how engagement with the private sector, among other stakeholders, is essential. 

The city of Semarang has deeply studied their energy usage, set goals for transition and strategized for a net-zero future. Despite this progress, there is a way to go for the city to deliver global and national goals of carbon neutrality. Lessons from Semarang reveal the many challenges faced throughout their journey towards sustainability. These are concerns with the cost of clean energy, lack of funding or incentives for transitioning and a technological gap. Partnerships across the private and public sector could be incredibly beneficial in solving these and strategizing for sustainable and resilient energy systems. Partners like Wood could help provide the technical expertise and resources necessary for a successful transition. 
Cape Town is undertaking several programmes and projects that aim to diversify energy supply and work towards carbon neutrality. Beyond hard infrastructural changes, the city is pioneering methods in how to engage better with city dwellers by opening a dialogue on what future energy systems might look like. By making ambitious goals, both cities, Semarang and Cape Town, are at the forefront in the shift towards a carbon neutral future.

Andrew Stewart
Executive President of Strategy and Development, Wood

“To deliver a net-zero future, we need all stakeholders to come together, shoulder to shoulder, whether it be the private sector, cities, NGOs and other global bodies.”

Peter J. Hall
Global Director for Sustainable & Resilient Infrastructure at Wood

“We want to help cities with building back better, delivering critical services for communities and scaling this work in other cities.”

Peter J.Hall‘s presentation

Leila Mahomed-Weideman
Director Sustainable Energy Market, City of Cape Town

“Cape town hopes to be carbon neutral by 2050”

“We have a number of initiatives to reach out to our residents to bring them along in building and imagining what the energy future of the city could look like.”

Leila Mahomed-Weideman‘s presentation

Muhammad Luthfi
Infrastructure and Environment Research Head, Development Planning Agency & Chief Resilience Officer, City of Semarang

“Fossil fuel energy is still cheaper than renewable energy, so it is difficult to convince politicians or stakeholders involved to propose the use of renewable energy sources”

“We realise that we need to increase our capacity to learn about technology, learn how to produce energy from natural sources and need support from our colleagues in universities or other cities.”

Muhammad Luthfi ‘s presentation

Watch full session here:

Black climate change thematic icon with blue circular background. Black built environment thematic icon with blue circular background. Black economy and finance thematic icon with blue circular background. Black equity thematic icon with blue circular background.

News and Resources