City of Sydney to go 100 per cent renewable

Sydney, net zero carbon cities, renewable, rooftop solar

The City of Sydney has announced it will purchase only 100 per cent renewable energy generated by wind or solar PV for large sites and offset the carbon emissions in the electricity used at small sites.

This will see emissions cut by around 18,000 tonnes a year – equivalent to the power consumption of around 4000 households.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the decision follows intense efforts by the city to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

“Acting on climate change is the City’s top priority. We were among the first to set science-based targets in 2008 and since then we’ve reduced our emissions by 20 per cent on 2005 levels,” Ms Moore said.

“This decision by Council will allow us to achieve our commitment to reduce emissions by 70 per cent, ten years ahead of our own 2030 deadline, well on the way to net-zero by 2050.

Related article: Sydney gets thousands of new streetlights

“The city’s strong economic position and the money we’ve saved by investing in energy efficiency allows us to act responsibly by committing to 100 per cent renewable energy.”

The city was the first local government in Australia to achieve carbon neutral certification in 2011 and is part of the C40, a network of 94 of the world’s largest cities, representing more than 700 million people worldwide.

The Lord Mayor, who has recently returned from the C40 Women4Climate Conference, said that cities play a crucial role in addressing climate change.

“For too long, our state and federal governments have failed to take action to address accelerating climate change. That’s why cities must lead the way,” Ms Moore said.

“We’ve reduced our own emissions, and continue to work with our business community through the Better Buildings Partnership. This successful program has assisted members to save $33 million a year on power costs and reduce their emissions by 52 per cent since 2001, well over halfway to their 2030 target of a 70 per cent reduction.”

Related article:Sydney residents to benefit from distributed energy

The city reduced emissions by 25 per cent compared to the 2006 baseline of 52,970 tonnes was achieved by the city in 2018.

It is now on track to achieve a further 10,000 tonnes of direct reductions through efficiency initiatives over the next five years.

The city has also reduced electricity usage by 26 per cent since 2006 by investing in energy efficiency initiatives, resulting in significant savings for ratepayers.