Renewable energy sources could provide 100 per cent of future electricity, heating and cooling needs in a blueprint that details how the city could run on renewable electricity and renewable gas by 2030.
The City of Sydney’s final renewable energy master plan shows how 30 per cent of the city’s electricity can come from carbon-free energy such as wind and solar power, and 70 per cent from trigeneration using renewable gas from waste.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the plan is the most detailed technical, financial and economic assessment of renewable energy sources ever undertaken for Sydney and proves a renewable energy future is possible.
“Burning fossil fuels for energy is a huge contributor to climate change and almost 80 per cent of electricity used in Sydney comes from coal-fired power plants,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Our Renewable Energy Master Plan gives us a roadmap to transform Sydney into a city run entirely on renewable energy by 2030. It’s backed by extensive research and the experiences of other cities around the world.
“A rapid roll out of renewable energy in Germany has already seen the closure of eight nuclear power plants, and a number of smaller cities are running on 100 per cent renewable energy.
“Now is the time to move out of the fossil fuel age. Other countries have shown that with the regulatory barriers removed, achieving 100 per cent renewable energy is possible. It has been demonstrated around the world as a secure, reliable, affordable and clean energy solution.”
Detailed financial analysis in the plan demonstrates that solar and wind power will actually cost less than polluting energies from 2020 to 2030 as their cost falls and coal-fired electricity and fossil fuel natural gas prices continue to rise.
The Lord Mayor said that feedback from the community and industry stakeholders to the draft renewable energy master plan has been overwhelmingly positive during the extensive consultation period and public exhibition lasting 10 weeks.
“The community told us they want to get involved in helping the City deliver our target of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” the Lord Mayor said.
“In direct response to this, we have included a new section in the master plan looking at how residents, businesses and landowners can install and own renewable energy.
“Community-owned renewable energy is a great opportunity for local residents to directly play their part in addressing climate change, earn money from renewable energy and create local jobs.
“Over 1 million Australians have installed solar power showing the enthusiasm of the community for renewable energy, and we want to expand the opportunities for the community to own renewable energy through innovative models such as cooperatives.”
The community-owned Hepburn wind farm in Victoria has been exporting local electricity for over two years. The farm has two wind turbines and produces about 12,200 megawatt hours of renewable energy a year, enough to power about 2,300 homes.
Community-owned models have proved to be the primary means of producing renewable energy in some of the countries with the highest proportion of renewable energy. In Germany, customers own two thirds of renewable energy generation and in the United States more than 1,500 wind farms owned by the community have been installed across 27 states.
The Renewable Energy master plan is the third of the City’s Green Infrastructure Master Plans. The City is now working on the Advanced Waste Treatment and Energy Efficiency Master Plans and a Climate Change Adaption Plan for 2014.
The City’s Renewable Energy Master Plan is available at:
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