Cali sits between two immovable borders: the Cauca River and the Farallones de Cali, mountains that form part of the western Andean range. Six rivers descend from these forested mountains and cross the city before disgorging into the Cauca, one of Colombia’s most important waterways. At an altitude of roughly 1,000 meters, with plenty of rainfall, cool weather and an abundance of flat fertile land, the region surrounding Cali is — and has been for several decades — an agro-industrial powerhouse. Export crops, such as sugarcane, have played an important role in the region’s economy and were largely responsible for Cali’s rapid industrialization in the 1940s, which ushered in a new era of factories, business guilds and banks. For more than a century, Cali has been an enclave of prosperity and relative peace in an otherwise unstable region, attracting people mainly from the country’s southern provinces and Pacific region – in the last five years alone, more than 23,000 people moved to Cali. This internal migration has defined Cali’s unique demographics and cultural identity, making it an unusually diverse city, home to Afro-Colombians, indigenous people, and mestizos.
Cali’s Urban Power Profile provides an overview of the city’s power system context and challenges, key shocks and stresses impacting energy resilience projects and case studies on energy resilience projects including the SCADA smart control center for energy monitoring and innovative prepaid tarrif programs that work to expand energy access.
With support from the Rockefeller Foundation via the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and S&P Global Foundation, Urban Power is building assessment and project development tools and working with cities to develop energy projects that help them achieve a green and just energy transition, reach their net-zero ambitions, and deliver multiple resilience co-benefits.