The Swiss cities, including all densely populated urban areas, are large consumers of electricity, heat, and transport services. From the technical perspective, the building stock and other infrastructures can be more easily renovated, allowing integration of solar PV and thermal collectors, with more challenges in the older parts of towns. Potential for individual heat pumps is large, although a high density of heat demand is especially suitable for district heating, fuelled by anthropogenic biomass, waste heat, geothermal or surface water heat pumps, as well as existing waste incineration plants. High density of private and public transport can benefit from electrification, but would put additional pressure on the distribution grids. Proximity of renewable generation and demand means that smart city concepts andintegrated systems, such as bidirectional charging of electrical mobility, are especially interesting. Nonetheless, a high demand in cities means that they are likely to be net importers of energy to complement local production.
From the societal perspective, a comparatively large share of rented housing needs business models that rely more on companies rather than on the population, even if this urban population is typically characterized by higher income groups. Population can be expected to be less connected to their place of living (e.g., due to large shares of foreigners or migration from rural Switzerland), and hence likely more responsive to price drivers and regulation rather than willingness to cooperate with the local community.