Decarbonizing Energy of a City: Identifying Barriers and Pathways

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As researchers and ultimately deployers of energy decarbonisation solutions, we collectively see significant but often siloed efforts that in isolation may appear as an appropriate solution to an aspect of energy decarbonisation. However, when systemwide thinking is applied, a former attractive solution may become more challenging and, likewise, a less attractive silo may become more appropriate as part of an energy systemwide approach. Thus, the aim of this paper is to combine proposed energy decarbonisation concepts, e.g., electrification, hydrogen, biogas etc., with the status of the system in which they intend to operate, and then highlight the barriers, opportunities, and alternatives that may come into play when the whole system is taken into account. This is a hypothetical study using the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK as an example and reflects, in part, the city’s desire to decarbonise while enhancing its economic prosperity. The “system” is defined as the region boundaries, i.e., Northern Ireland will supply the energy (all or in part) to the city of Belfast. The methodology deployed here therefore is a framework of energy thinking that is the basis of such energy decarbonisation plans at a city-wide level.
Original languageEnglish
Article number267
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Jan 2024

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© 2024 by the author.


  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Building and Construction
  • city-wide decarbonization
  • buildings
  • industry
  • transport


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