The role of renewable energy in the promotion of circular urban metabolism

Antonio Barragán-Escandón, Julio Terrados-Cepeda, Esteban Zalamea-León

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

34 Scopus citations


© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Cities are human creations requiring large amounts of materials and energy. Constant consumption of resources exerts pressure on the environment not only due to its exploitation, but also because once processed, the resources produce waste, emissions or effluents. Cities are responsible for more than three quarters of the emissions of greenhouse gases. It is anticipated that the urban population will increase by up to 80% by the mid-21st century, which will make the current energy model unsustainable, as it is based on the intensive use of fossil resources. A change in urban planning is required to meet the energy requirements of cities. Several studies mention that renewable energy must be used in cities, but they do not identify the resources and technologies that can be used to promote circular urban metabolism. A review of the literature establishes that there are eleven renewable technologies with different degrees of maturity that could reduce the import of energy resources, which would contribute to changing the metabolic linear model into a circular model. However, the applicability of the different possibilities is conditional upon the availability of resources, costs, policies and community acceptance.
Translated title of the contributionEl papel de las energías renovables en la promoción del metabolismo urbano circular
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2017


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