The Electrified City: Opportunities and Challenges for Southeast Asia

The German delegates of the travelling conference visiting the partner university in Bangkok.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

How can electrification of cities in Southeast Asia contribute to a more sustainable development? This major issue of concern to Asian cities was part of the agenda of the travelling conference “The Electrified City” financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The experts of the Institute of Energy Economics and Rational Use of Energy (IER) of the University of Stuttgart and five other German partners, including the PTV Group, met with scientists and official representatives in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, in Hanoi in northern Vietnam and Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

The aim of the three conferences was to promote exchange of ideas and encourage scientific debate regarding the potential benefits of electrification in the fields of energy, mobility and air quality as well as in the building and industrial sector. Among the participants were not only researchers and students from local universities, but also government and industry officials, NGOs and representatives of the German Embassy. The events were organized by the following local partner institutions: the Clean Energy and Sustainable Development Laboratory in Hanoi, the School of Urban and Regional Planning of the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City and the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment at KMUTT in Bangkok.

In her presentation, Tanja Schäfer, PTV Senior Project Manager Sustainable Transport, analysed the opportunities and challenges of electrification in urban transport. “Transport is a major issue that all Asian metropolises have to deal with,” says Tanja Schäfer. “When it comes to electrification, the focus should be on mass transport systems, which offer the highest potential in terms of sustainable development. In addition to electrification of private transport, cities must provide attractive, functional and, above all, integrated public transport systems.”

Excursions to local energy and mobility suppliers were also part of the conference programme. During the lunch meetings with local stakeholders, the delegates had the opportunity to meet their peers in a relaxed atmosphere. Tanja Schäfer is pleased about the results: “It was a successful trip – the response to the conferences was very good and we were able to establish many interesting new contacts. We discussed numerous starting points for potential projects and we will certainly continue this dialogue in 2018.”