Energy Potential Mapping: Open Data in Support of Urban Transition Planning

Michiel Fremouw, Annamaria Bagaini, Paolo De Pascali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


Cities play a key role in driving the transition to sustainable energy. Urban areas represent between 60% and 80% of global energy consumption and are a significant source of CO2 emissions, making energy management at the urban scale an important area of research. Urban energy systems have a strong influence on the environment, economy, social dimensions and urban spatial planning. Energy consumption affects the urban microclimate, urban comfort, human health, and conversely, urban physical, economic and social characteristics affect the energy urban profile. In order to improve the quality of energy strategies, policies, and plans, local authorities need decision support tools, like energy potential mapping, which have risen significance in the last decades. Energy data are crucial for those tools. They can increase the quality and effectiveness of energy planning but also support the integration between energy and spatial planning. Energy data can also stimulate citizen engagement as well as encourage sustainable behaviours and CO2 emission reduction. This paper aims to increase the practice of data-aware planning, through the study of problems in energy data acquisition and processing observed in European projects focused on developing energy mapping tools. The problems observed attend to two main areas: technical and socio-economic issues. Those were derived from a comparison of energy mapping tools, and the work conducted for the PLANHEAT development. The scope of the research is to understand the main recurring issues in energy data acquisition and processing, in order to overcome the barriers in data availability. Increasing awareness of the relevance of energy data can foster the use of energy mapping tools, increasing the quality of energy policies and planning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1264
Number of pages15
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Data-aware planning
  • Energy data
  • Energy planning
  • Energy Potential Mapping
  • Spatial planning
  • Urban energy atlas
  • Urban energy transition


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