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istockphoto.com | PetaClic

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Getting ready to go 100% renewable

From next year, we’ll source 100% renewable energy to meet our electricity needs – well ahead of our 2030 deadline.

With our energy supply contract set to expire at the end of this year, we’re diving head first into Sydney’s renewable future by increasing our renewable electricity target from 50% to 100%.

We’ve pledged to purchase only 100% renewable energy that’s generated by wind or solar. 100% renewable energy will power larger City-owned sites like pools and libraries and offset the carbon emissions from our small sites.

“We’re increasing our renewable electricity target and achieving it earlier because our residents and businesses are demanding it, it reduces emissions and it will soon be cheaper than coal,” the City of Sydney’s sustainability director, Chris Derksema said.

“The shift to renewable electricity is happening much faster than anyone imagined. We’re leading by example, with the hope of inspiring local residents and businesses to take action themselves.

“Visitors to our swimming pools, libraries, childcare centres and even Sydney Town Hall will know we’re playing our part,” he said.

We’ll negotiate a new 100% renewable electricity contract in the coming months, which we expect will start in 2020.

Reduce, renew and restore

We’ve been building up to this 100% renewables commitment for some time, taking a series of big steps over the past few years to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

“We’ve reduced our electricity usage by 26% since 2006 with investment in energy efficiency projects, resulting in significant savings for ratepayers,” Chris said.

Replacing 6,500 street lights with LEDs, for example, saved ratepayers $800,000 a year in energy costs and reduced carbon emissions by 2,400 tonnes a year.

Other investments include energy efficient technology at several swimming pools, including the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre in Ultimo and the Cook + Phillip Park Aquatic Centre near Hyde Park, saving nearly 1,000 tonnes of emissions each year.

Meanwhile, more than 7,800 solar panels are expected to power our buildings by mid-2021. Alexandra Canal Depot, for example, is already powered by 1,600 solar panels and NSW’s first government-installed Tesla battery.

This isn’t the first time we’ve taken a leading role on sustainability.

  • We were the first local government to be certified carbon neutral in 2011.

We’re part of a bigger group of 166 international organisations, from IKEA to ING and Sony to Starbucks, committed to climate action by making the switch to renewables.

“The money we’ve saved by investing in energy efficiency will more than cover our commitment to 100% renewable electricity. And we’ll be supporting clean energy projects that create jobs and make a difference to regional communities,” Chris said.

Supporting you to make the switch

Our commitment comes at a time when the Australian renewable energy industry is growing rapidly.

The Clean Energy Council is currently tracking $20 billion in large-scale renewable energy projects across the country that will create more than 13,500 jobs in regional areas.

Find out more about how you can make the switch to power your home or business with 100% renewables.



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