“Now is a time to re-invent the city and pursue a low carbon view of the future,” said Rodrigo Rosa, Special Advisor to the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro. “We expect that TRACE, as part of the Rio Low-Carbon City Development Program, will help us to push this forward.”
The TRACE tool was developed by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). It collects and analyzes data across six urban sectors—passenger transport; municipal buildings; water and wastewater; public lighting; solid waste; and power and heat—and then recommends concrete actions planners can take to improve urban energy efficiency.
Ivan Jaques, head of ESMAP’s Energy Efficient Cities Initiative, said the TRACE tool is uniquely suited to Rio de Janeiro’s current needs and future goals.
“Rio de Janeiro wants to position itself as a global leader in promoting low carbon investments and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr. Jaques said. “TRACE is helping determine how best to keep the city on its sustainable growth path.”
In early 2012, the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte became the first city in Latin America to implement TRACE. The ESMAP team’s TRACE assessment resulted in actions in the transport sector – including the adoption of traffic flow optimization measures – as well as the integration of plans already underway in other areas.
TRACE found that measuring public lighting consumption and installing dimmers would help reduce expenditure in Belo Horizonte’s public lighting sector, and that optimizing the flow of garbage trucks would reduce the resources being spent moving waste to landfills. In the water and wastewater sector, TRACE recommended that the installation of a leak detection system would help reduce the significant percentage of water being lost to leakage and theft.
The TRACE process is usually conducted over three months. Experts collect data, make onsite assessments, interview local decision-makers, and prepare a comprehensive report recommending interventions to improve energy efficiency.
TRACE consists of three modules:
- an energy benchmarking module which compares key performance indicators for energy efficiency from peer cities among the 93 urban centers in its database;
- a sector prioritization module which identifies sectors that offer the greatest potential with respect to energy-cost savings;
- an intervention selection module which functions like a “playbook” from which cities can choose from—and adapt—a range of tried-and-tested energy efficiency interventions.
“The energy-benchmarking module will enable planners in Rio to compare their city’s energy efficiency performance against other cities, including peers in Latin America, as well as others like Barcelona and New York,” said Pedzi Makumbe, an Energy Specialist with ESMAP.
Since its creation in 2010, the TRACE tool has been deployed in 23 cities worldwide. Along with Rio, the tool is also currently being used in Accra, Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Looking ahead, ESMAP will scale-up TRACE deployments worldwide by fostering partnerships with municipal government associations. As the TRACE tool is developed, ESMAP is designing a complete program of services including technical support to cities in energy assessments and low carbon development planning, training and capacity development, and preparation for financing.