The City of Sydney has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the entire local government area by 70% below 2006 levels by 2030. This includes a target of 30% of electricity from renewable sources.
The current cost of electricity
Sydney is facing substantial requirements for new and upgraded energy infrastructure to improve its aging electricity and gas networks. Energy distributors and retailers in NSW have been given the right to increase energy prices to recoup the investment required to deliver an operable, secure and modern energy system.
The recent increases in electricity costs to households and businesses are mostly due to upgrades to network infrastructure required to meet growing peak demand.
In the local area, this peak typically occurs between 10 am and 4 pm; times when many building integrated solar energy technologies will be operating at, or near, capacity. Any such decentralised energy generation able to reduce peak demand may delay infrastructure upgrades and potentially reduce further escalation of network charges and hence electricity bills for the entire community.
The plan for renewable energy
A renewable energy master plan has been developed to focus on technologies that deliver the greatest outcome for our city for the lowest cost.
A major part of helping the City meet its renewable energy targets is a $4.3 million project that will install solar panels on 30 sites beginning at Sydney Park Pavilion and then Paddington and Glebe Town Hall, Town Hall House as well as a range of libraries, community centres, depots and other public facilities. The largest building-mounted solar panel program in Australia will have a total peak electrical capacity of 1.25 megawatts, reducing annual carbon pollution by up to 2,250 tonnes.
The City has already installed solar hot water and/or photovoltaic systems on 18 sites where 240 panels create a peak capacity of 48 kilowatts. The new program will increase the City's solar electricity capacity to a peak of 1.35 megawatts, with more than 5,500 solar panels of public buildings across the local area.
Some other key technologies in helping deliver the City's targets include wind turbines.
The most exciting part of our city using renewable energy is that as the cost of coal-fired electricity rises, the cost of renewable energy is falling as new technology becomes available and countries around the world embrace decentralised energy networks.
The City’s renewable energy master plan is due to go on public display in early 2013. Comments are welcome.
City of Sydney
02 9265 email@example.com
Last updated: Friday, 24 May 2013