Sydney’s blueprint for a 100 per cent renewable future

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 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 tri-generation 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 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.

“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.”

Detailed financial analysis in the plan demonstrates solar and wind power will 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 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,” he 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.”

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.