One positive impact of smart cities is reducing energy consumption and CO2
emission through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT). Energy transition pursues systematic changes to the low-carbon society, and it can benefit from technological and institutional advancement in smart cities. The integration of the energy transition to smart city development has not been thoroughly studied yet. The purpose of this study is to find empirical evidence of smart cities’ contributions to energy transition. The hypothesis is that there is a significant difference between smart and non-smart cities in the performance of energy transition. The Smart Energy Transition Index is introduced. Index is useful to summarize the smart city component’s contribution to energy transition and to enable comparison among cities. The cities in South Korea are divided into three groups: (1) first-wave smart cities that focus on smart transportation and security services; (2) second-wave smart cities that provide comprehensive urban services; and (3) non-smart cities. The results showed that second-wave smart cities scored higher than first-wave and non-smart cities, and there is a statistically significant difference among city groups. This confirms the hypothesis of this paper that smart city development can contribute to the energy transition.
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