he role of cities in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions is rapidly evolving, as evidenced by significant growth in transnational municipal networks and local climate strategy adoption over the past decade. A large number of energy system modeling and planning tools are available to urban energy planners, but the majority of review studies focus on summarizing the capabilities of these tools. Comparatively few reviews examine the array of gaps in the field alongside potential solutions, particularly from both expert and practitioner viewpoints. This study aims to fill this gap. It provides a pragmatic, comprehensive overview of technical, methodological, and institutional gaps and solutions amongst urban energy system modeling tools and methods. It also compares solutions in order to identify relatively high-impact and easy-to-implement recommendations for tool developers, researchers, urban energy planners, policymakers, and other decision-makers. Key methodological solutions include developing: 1) more integrated modeling approaches; and 2) more comprehensive energy modeling scenarios to represent social factors and system imperfections. Technical solutions to improve data gaps include implementing: 1) increased privacy controls; 2) robust, secure communication architectures; and 3) improved data sharing platforms. Institutional solutions, which have some of the highest expected impacts in the field, include establishing: 1) centralized energy data regulation and collection authorities; 2) centralized frameworks to support the development of municipal energy planning departments; 3) training programs to build local capacity; 4) increased open data licensing in the public sector; and 5) improved scientific standards for transparency, reproducibility, and uncertainty analyses in energy modeling.


Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Vol 137
Yazdanie, K. Orehounig


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