No lifestyle shift needed to make Munich carbon-free
Advertorial   |   5/31/2009 2:02:44 PM

How can cities protect the environment and save money at the same time? A Siemens study of the German city of Munich indicates that Munich can reduce its carbon emissions by up to 90 % by 2058 without any change in lifestyle.

The study -- Sustainable Urban Infrastructure: Munich Edition - paths toward a carbon free future -- outlines how a modern urban metropolis can reduce its carbon emissions dramatically. It also uses a model urban district to present examples of how the transformation to a nearly carbon-free city can be accomplished in terms of infrastructure and technology. Levers to reduce carbon emissions are highly efficient energy use, adaptation of the heat, electricity and traffic infrastructure and changeover to renewable and low carbon power generation.

The study avers that investments in energy-saving technologies pays off. The cost-effectiveness of many efficiency measures can be shown impressively in many cases. For instance, by mid-century an additional 13 billion pounds will have to be spent in Munich in order to retrofit old buildings and construct new ones in accordance with the particular energy-saving passive house standard as opposed to the Energy Savings Ordinance of 2007. That averages out to about 200 pounds a year per Munich resident - a third of an annual gas bill. However, these additional investments will be offset by annual energy cost savings in 2058 of up to 2.6 billion pounds - or about 2,000 per person. Energy savings over the entire period will total more than 30 billion pounds.

The study also suggests that electric vehicles could be linked with the power grid.

Inner city vehicle traffic could be managed for the most part with electric vehicles. A large part of the electricity required for this purpose will come from renewable generation from the public grid, making it possible to use automobiles as integral components of national energy networks. Electric vehicles could serve as batteries and function as a load management system to balance out fluctuations caused by increased use of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic systems and wind energy.

In this way, an electric fleet could feed electricity into the network at peak times when electricity is particularly expensive - quickly offsetting the additional costs of expensive batteries.


Waste Management
Campaign Ambassador
"We have to remember that we can't keep abusing the environment and every one of us can and should do our bit"
Share Your Green Idea
Your city could get the biggest tree on our Green Map. Write in with your ideas here.
You can also send us your ideas at
Green stat of the day
One Pet bottle can be recycled into bristles for 20 tooth brushes.