Sydney takes home international solar prize

The City of Sydney’s Renewable Energy Master Plan has scooped the prestigious European Solar Prize 2014 award for excellence and innovation.

The award from not-for-profit organisation Eurosolar recognises outstanding commitment and participation in the renewable energy sector, including significant contributions to expanding renewable energy use.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the plan proves a renewable energy future can be achieved in Australian cities.

“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,” he said, acknowledging it was an honour for the city’s planners to be recognised on the global stage.

“Our Renewable Energy Master Plan will help us transform Sydney into a city run entirely on renewable energy by 2030.

“The city is Australia’s first carbon-neutral government with ambitious targets to reduce emissions by 70 per cent by 2030. We are delighted our Renewable Energy Master Plan has received this prestigious recognition.”

The city’s renewable energy strategy was nominated by renewable expert and president of Eurosolar Peter Droege.

“The City of Sydney’s renewable energy plan demonstrates civic vision, technological leadership and political courage,” Mr Droege said.

“The plan demonstrates a commitment to a fully-renewable energy based community and is a stellar model for other communities around the world to aspire to.”

The awards ceremony was held in Rome, with the Australian ambassador to Italy Mike Rann accepting the award on behalf of the City of Sydney.