NewsProjections of electricity demand in European cities using downscaled population scenarios – 18 September 2019

EIEE - European Institute on Economics and the Environment

Projections of electricity demand in European cities using downscaled population scenarios – 18 September 2019

September 18, 2019
Seminar | h. 12:30 – 13:30 pm CEST
Venezia – VEGA, aula CANCELLETTO, primo piano

Gianni Guastella
Stefano Pareglio

Introduced by:
Ramiro Parrado, CMCC Foundation – Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change


This work is an attempt to estimate future electricity demand in cities based on current population projections. In Europe, the urban population is growing rapidly, and it is expected to reach 80% of the total population by 2050. This increase in urbanisation will surely shift significantly the demand for electricity in cities but the real extent of this change depends on several factors determining the electricity demand from the residential and transport sectors. Many of these factors, such as the urban form and the urban mobility systems, are the object of planning policies and the projected electricity demand conditioned to future economic and demographic scenarios is a piece of highly relevant information for urban planners and policymakers. Starting from national-level electricity density data we derived statistically downscaled energy consumption data and applied spatially explicit econometric models to reproduce population projections at the municipality level for all EU member states. We then upscaled the data at the urban level using the boundaries of the Functional Urban Areas in Europe. Results suggest that the amount of energy required by cities strongly depend on their land-use patterns. This evidence poses significant challenges to the planning of future cities as it points out how the current patterns of land use will soon become unsustainable in terms of electricity demand as the urban population continues to grow.


Gianni Guastella, is Assistant Professor at Università Cattolica, where he teaches Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Financial Mathematics and Econometrics. He holds an MSc in Economic Geography from the Utrecht University and a PhD in Economic Policy from the Catholic University. As a post-doc, he has worked on several FP7 projects related to the land markets. His research interests include urbanization and sprawl, carbon emissions and pollutant concentration in cities, nature-based solutions for cities decarbonization, spatial planning and natural resource management policies. He specialized in statistical modeling of spatial data with applications to urban growth and soil-management problems.

Stefano Pareglio, is Associate Professor at the Catholic University of Milan. He teaches Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Environmental and Energy Economics, as well as Energy and Urban Planning at the Politecnico di Milano. He is Scientific Coordinator of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) research program on Firms and Cities Towards Sustainability (FACTS). He is Director of the Research Center for Environment, Energy, and Sustainable Development (CRASL), and member of the Steering Committee of the Post-Graduate School on the Environment of the Catholic University (ASA). His research is about environmental economics, and urban/regional economics.